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BBC Wales's Geraint Vincent reports
"The judge refused to accept evidence that Mr Staves was a malingerer"
 real 28k

BBC Wales's Geraint Vincent
"The judge refused to accept evidence from the oil company that Mr Staves was a malingerer."
 real 28k

Joanna Stevens of Thompsons solicitors
"Post traumatic stress disorder claims have increased in the last few years"
 real 28k

Thursday, 25 November, 1999, 15:29 GMT
Oil workers' explosion compensation
Oil fire Fires at Pembroke took three days to extinguish

Three former oil refinery workers who suffered mental truama after a massive explosion at an oil refinery in west Wales has been awarded a total 839,000 in compensation.

Ken Staves, 54, was awarded 340,000 for "pain and suffering and loss of amenity".

He had told Swansea County Court that he suffered from depression, flashbacks and poor concentration after the massive blast which happened five years ago.

Two other men - Peter Greaves, 59, and Paul Clifford, 53, - were awarded 210,019 and 289,021 respectively.

After the hearing into Mr Staves case agaist Texaco, Judge Terrence Lewis concluded: "I am more than satisfied that on the balance of probabilities, he was suffering from Post Traumtic Stress Disorder and as a consequence his job was terminated."

Fires

The blast happened in July 1994 during an electrical storm over the Texaco oil refinery in Pembroke.

The hearing was told that it was felt for miles around. No-one was killed but 26 workers were hurt and fires which followed took three days to extinguish.

Mr Staves was working as process a operator close to a "cracking unit" at the heart of the blast.

He claimed he suffered post traumatic stress, experiencing vivid flashbacks to the day of the explosion. He was retired early by the company.

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See also:
13 Oct 99 |  Medical notes
Post-traumatic stress disorder factfile
23 Jun 99 |  Health
Traumatised parents agree payout

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