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WOAI Local News

Negligence Alleged in West Explosion

A couple who was badly damaged in the April 17th explosion at the West Fertilizer Plant in West Texas today filed a lawsuit against the owners of the plant, claiming negligence, 1200 WOAI news reports.

The lawsuit filed by Bridgett and Roger Bowles is the first case to claim that the West family which owns the plant was negligent in allowing the explosion to occur.

"Had they been complying with regulations, had the regulations been enforced, had they not been storing as much ammonium nitrate as they were, then this wouldn't have happened," said Jason Gibson of Houston, the family's lawyer.

Roger Bowles was playing with his toddler grandchild in their home when the explosion occurred. The blast blew the roof off their home, causing major interior damage and cracking the foundation. Bridgett Bowles was at a park nearly and was blown 10 feet by the blast. Her cell phone was found 150 feet from the scene.

She suffered multiple injuries, including broken bones.

"One day you're in your house, doing what you do every day, you're living your life, and the next day you are in a temporary house, all your stuff has been destroyed, and your wife has been severely hurt."

He says he has said his lawsuit seeks 'more than a million dollars in damages.

"At some point, lawyers, the court, the judges, the clients, will all have to sit around and figure out a way that the money will be distributed fairly, and which compensates everybody fairly," Gibson said.

14 people were killed in the massive explosion. Gibson says one problem in seeking restitution is the fact that there are so many varied levels of injury and damage, somebody will have to figure out just who deserves compensation.

It is the third lawsuit filed in the wake of the explosion.

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