Suit alleges drill rig presented unreasonable risk of harm

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Jul. 1, 2009, 3:30am

Marc Mayfield

After being injured while working on a drilling rig, Longview resident Pedro Prado claims he knew it was only a matter of time before someone was injured on the rig due to its poor condition.

Seeking more than $75,000, Prado filed suit against Helmerich and Payne Inc., alleging the company allowed employees "to work in an unsafe area due to the Defendant's use of defective equipment operated in a negligent manner."

The lawsuit was filed on June 26 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

Working for Frank's Casing, the plaintiff was working on a natural gas drilling rig in Panola County. In late 2008, Prado was working on the floor of the rig when the tongs struck him and caused him to fall. Tongs are hydraulically controlled and counter-weighted equipment used in the transfer of casing pipe into the rig and hole.

The suit accuses the defendant of negligence for failing to provide a safe work area, failing to properly maintain the rig and its equipment, failing to properly train and oversees employees, and failing to warn individuals of the rig's dangerous condition.

The defendant is also accused of failing to "properly safe guard individuals from the dangerous condition presented by the rig equipment that struck Plaintiff."

"The actions of Defendant in creating this dangerous condition presented an unreasonable risk of harm," the complaint states.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for physical pain, mental anguish, medical expenses, physical impairment, lost earnings, and loss of future earnings, pre and post-judgment interest.

Longview attorney Marc C. Mayfield of the law firm Mayfield Weedon LLP is representing the plaintiff.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward will preside over the litigation.

Case No 2:0cv00202

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