Suit over BP rig explosion filed in Galveston County

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau May 12, 2010, 10:39am


GALVESTON - A group of crewmen who were aboard the Deepwater Horizon when the drilling rig exploded off the Louisiana coast three weeks ago have filed suit against several companies including BP, Halliburton and Cameron International.

The plaintiffs, who are from Louisiana and Mississippi, allege the defendants refused to help them after they sustained injuries from the April 20 blast which killed 11 workers and is spilling approximately 200,000 gallons of oil daily into the Gulf of Mexico.

The suit was filed a week after the alleged incident in Galveston County Court No. 3.

Among the complainants are the survivors of the deceased.

According to the original petition, the explosion was caused by a failure of the rig's control system as well as faulty cementing work and inadequate, defective blowout prevention equipment.

"Prior to the April 20 explosion, the Deepwater Horizon had suffered other fires, collisions, and oil spills," the suit says, adding that the event will likely surpass the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill as the worst man-made environmental disaster in U.S. history.

The workers claim they sustained many physical injuries, smoke inhalation, hearing loss, and post traumatic stress from watching many of their co-workers get hurt or die.

Consequently, the plaintiffs seek about $5 million in damages and a jury trial.

Attorney Kurt B. Arnold of Arnold & Itkin is representing the complainants.

Galveston County Court No. 3 Judge Roy Quintanilla is presiding over the case.

Cause No. 62,738

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