Rig worker sues four companies over injury from falling flange

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Aug. 5, 2009, 5:52am

MARSHALL � During routine maintenance on an oil rig near Stockman, a flange fell from a crane severely injuring a maintenance worker.

Andrew Pierce III filed a personal injury lawsuit against Superior Energy Services LLP, Bobcat Pressure Control Inc., Warrior Energy Services Corp. and Devon Energy Corp. on Aug. 3 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

Devon Energy owned the rig and had contracted with Superior Energy for service. Superior then sub-contracted with Warrior Energy to service the rig. The plaintiff was an employee of Warrior Energy.

According to the complaint, on May 21, 2008, Pierce was helping co-workers replace a flange on the rig when the flange fell from the crane and landed on top of him. Pierce was severely injured.

The plaintiff alleges that all the defendants were negligent by:

  • Failing to act as a reasonably prudent person would have under similar circumstances;
  • Failing to provide a safe work environment;
  • Failing to protect plaintiff from work-related hazards;
  • Failing to properly train its employees;
  • Failing to inspect all aspects of the crane;
  • Failing to provide safe equipment; and
  • Failing to warn of a potential hazard.

    Pierce states that the condition of Devon Energy's premises and the absence of handrails posed an unreasonable risk of harm. The complaint states, "Defendant Devon Energy failed to inspect, warn or cure its rig creating a dangerous condition."

    The plaintiff also argues that the defendant should have known of the unsafe conditions as it specifically employed a "safety man" to supervise construction and maintenance.

    Pierce alleges that Devon Energy is liable and negligent for failing to inspect the premises, failing to adequately warn of the dangerous condition and failing to make the dangerous condition safe.

    The plaintiff alleges Defendant Bobcat is additional negligent for failing to secure and inspect the flange and warn of a potential hazard.

    The plaintiff is seeking damages for physical pain, suffering, mental anguish, medical expenses, physical impairment, lost earnings and lost earning capacity.

    Seeking exemplary damages, the plaintiff alleges that the defendants "had actual awareness of the extreme degree of risk caused by the use of a non-certified crane and improperly secured flange, but proceeded with conscious indifference to the rights, safety, and welfare of others, namely Plaintiff."

    Longview attorneys Douglas C. Monsour, Garrett Wilson, and S. Douglas Grubbs of the Monsour Law Firm are representing the plaintiff.

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

    Case No 2:09cv00233

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