Oilfield employee hurt by improper maintenance, suit alleges

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Mar. 22, 2010, 6:45am

SHERMAN--As an employee of Stallion Oilfield Services, Wilbur Harris was preparing to empty the tanks of an oil well when he tripped on a wire protruding from the pipe. He required immediate emergency attention and was airlifted to the hospital.

Alleging the wire was left exposed through negligence, Harris filed a lawsuit against Devon Energy Corp., Signal Completion Services LLC and DVN Operating Co. LLC., general partner for Devon Energy Production Co. LP, on Oct. 29, 2009, in the 158th Judicial District of Denton County. The defendant removed the case to the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division on March 10.

According to the complaint, Harris claims the wire was not visible to him and presented an unreasonably dangerous risk. The plaintiff alleges the defendants left the wire on the pipe rather than removing it as part of routine maintenance. Harris states that because of the incident he has suffered serious and disabling injuries.

The lawsuit alleges the defendants are negligent for failing to provide a safe workplace, failing to warn of the dangerous conditions, failing to maintain the tanks and pipes on the property, and for leaving a protruding wire.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for physical impairment, loss of earning capacity, mental anguish, physical pain, exemplary damages, interest, medical expenses in excess of $154,000, and costs of suit.

Richardson attorney Maurice E. Klein is representing the plaintiff.

U.S. District Judge Richard A. Schell will preside over the litigation.

Case No 4:10cv00102

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