New Iberia Plant Explosion and Absolute Liability

An explosion occurred from a chemical fire at a Multi-Chem Corp. chemical plant in New Iberia last week, causing neighboring residents to evacuate their homes. Police reported no injuries from the explosion or its aftermath. The explosion occurred in a facility that blends chemicals for oil field operations. The accident highlights the importance of safety and prudence by Louisiana proprietors who participate in ultrahazardous activities.

Louisiana law imposes absolute liability on individuals and corporations engaging in ultrahazardous activities. Louisiana Civil Code Article 667 holds a proprietor responsible for damage without regard to his knowledge or his exercise of reasonable care if the damage is caused by an ultrahazardous activity. The Code strictly limits the definition of an ultrahazardous activity to pile driving and blasting with explosives.

Under a theory of absolute liability, the injured party can recover by simply proving damages and causation, regardless of whether the proprietor was actually negligent. Therefore, absolute liability permits liability without negligence. Louisiana courts often attach absolute liability to the storage of toxic gas and crop dusting with airplanes.


If you or a loved one were injured from an ultrahazardous activity, you may have legal rights. For questions, contact Broussard & David at 1-888-337-2323 (toll free) or 337-233-2323 (local).

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