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Worker Sues BP Over Handling of Algerian Terrorist Attack

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An American worker who survived a 2013 terrorist attack at an Algerian BP plant is suing the oil giant in Harris County District Court for $100 million, saying BP did not disclose security threats to employees or increase security at the plant.

Steve Wysocki's suit is the third Houston complaint filed against BP over the attack, which killed 40 people at the plant in In Amenas, near the Libyan border.

The Colorado resident's Nov. 17 petition describes the harrowing events of January 18, 2013, when he and two other "expatriate" workers hid under their desks while terrorists invaded the plant and rounded up non-Algerian employees.

"Wysocki and the other expatriates were stuck in their respective hiding places, cramped in tiny cubby holes and fearing for their lives for many hours," the suit alleges. Then, "just before dawn" on January 18, "Wysocki and two others carefully made a run for it, using the buildings and storage containers as cover," eventually escaping through a hole in a fence cut by Algerian co-workers two days prior.

Wysocki's complaint alleges that BP knew that a weapons cache was discovered near In Amenas, and intelligence revealed the increased threat "of a high-impact terrorist attack" on plant.

But, per the suit, BP "neither disclosed the increased risks to its employees and contractors, nor did it increase the security at the facility," and that security actually deteriorated during the Algerian workers' hunger strike.

Wysocki, represented by Francis Spagnoletti, is accusing BP of gross negligence, negligent assumption of risk, and fraud.

BP Spokesman Robert Wine told Courthouse News that "The terrorist attack at In Amenas was an unprecedented and murderous crime, followed by the military intervention of a sovereign state. It has profoundly impacted the lives of many people. Our thoughts and sympathies remain with the families of all those who were killed, and those impacted by this terrible event."

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