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Calif. Residents File Health Claims Against Chevron (AUDIO)

Friday, August 10, 2012 - 05:22 PM

Richmond, CA residents wait to file claims at an accident and injury attorney's office the night after a fire at a Chevron refinery. The line stretched out the door and down the sidewalk. Photo by Julie Caine

The night after an explosion and fire at a Chevron refinery sent plumes of thick black smoke out across one of the Bay Area's poorest communities, local residents were already scrambling to ensure they will get compensated for potential impacts to their health.

Chevron has an official claims process, but many local Richmond residents filed into the office of a local attorney instead. KALW's Julie Caine stopped by to talk to the people in line.

Listen to them here:

A sample:

NICHOLAS HANEY: We are having a lot of people come in, we haven't sorted it all out yet. I'm having people fill out forms... We need to figure out where people were, where they live, where they were at the time of the fire, and, so we don't have all the answers yet. Chevron, I hope they step up to the plate and do the right thing. They have a lot of people in this town that got sick due to their negligence.

NOTE: Chevron Corporation issued the following information for people seeking to file medical claims:

"Chevron will open a help center in Richmond on Friday, August 10, to assist residents who want to file claims related to the incident that occurred at the refinery this week."

Help Center:
Nevin Community Center
598 Nevin Ave.
Richmond, CA

Hours of operation:
9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday - Friday
8 a.m. to 12 p.m., Saturday

Those wishing to file a claim by phone should call 866-260-7881. Live operators are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Residents who have already filed a claim by phone do not need to visit the help center.

We have reports that individuals may be calling members of the community about making claims. These are not Chevron representatives. There are only two ways a claim can be filed: by calling 866-260-7881 or or by visiting the help center at 598 Nevin Ave.

The claims process has been set up through Crawford and Company. We intend to compensate our neighbors for medical and property expenses incurred as a result of the incident.

Those who call the claim line will be asked a series of questions about their claim, which will then be routed to adjusters. Adjusters are attempting to respond to all claims within three days. Chevron will strive to pay appropriate and reasonable claims, including out-of-pocket medical and property-damage expenses.

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