R&R sues for damage to rig after crane collapse

David Yates Jan. 29, 2008, 9:00am

R&R Marine's repair yard in Port Arthur

A repair job gone wrong has led two offshore companies and an insurance provider to file suit against BP Consulting Inc. (Business Productivity Consulting)and Sabine Offshore Services.

R&R Marine Offshore Inc., Ensco Offshore Co. and St. Paul Travelers claim BPC and Sabine negligently caused a crane boom to collapse during the repair session of an offshore drilling rig. The companies filed suit in the Jefferson County District Court on Jan. 28.

According to the plaintiff's petition, in January 2006 R&R had a master service agreement with Ensco to repair and refurbish Ensco's Rig 86, including work on the rig's derrick and drill floor. The work was being performed at the R&R Marine yard in Sabine Pass.

BPC was also engaged to perform some of the refurbishment work including maintenance "building" and galvanization of the derrick. Sabine provided various services to R&R Marine, including furnishing a crane and crane operator, the suit said.

Sabine undertook the operation of lifting the derrick onto the rig on Jan. 25, 2006. During the lift, the crane's boom collapsed causing the derrick to fall onto and across the rig floor causing substantial damage, the suit said.

"Under the terms of Master Service Agreement with Ensco, and as a matter of its customary course of business dealings with Ensco, R&R Marine repaired the damage caused by BPC's and the Sabine entities' failed lift," the suit said. "The incident and resulting damages described above were proximately caused by BPC' s and/or the Sabine entities' negligent, careless and reckless disregard of their duties during the lifting operation."

The suit lists the following acts of alleged negligence committed by BPC and Sabine:

  • Conducting the lift without following routine and customary pre-lift procedures;
  • Failing to consult with and/or meet with R&R Marine prior to the lift;
  • Failing to conduct a pre-lift meeting;
  • Failing to ensure that the mechanics of the lift including, but not limited to verifying the appropriate boom angle, the derrick's weight, and related matters were accurately accounted for and followed;
  • Failing to ensure that the crane was not overloaded during the lift;
  • Failing to measure the distance between rotary and crane before the lift;
  • And failing to put matting down prior to the lift.

    The plaintiffs are suing for actual damages and damages allowed under the equitable doctrine of quantum meruit, plus attorney's fees.

    Travelers is seeking recovery of its payment for the damage to the rig.

    They are demanding a trial by jury and are represented by James Tompkins of the Galloway, Johnson, Tompkins, Burr & Smith law firm.

    The case has been assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th Judicial District.

    Case No. B181-130

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