Defendant challenges venue of dispersant illness suit

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Apr. 9, 2012, 10:10am

GALVESTON - One of the defendants in a suit filed by an Alabama seaman who claims illness from BP oil spill dispersants contends Galveston County is not the proper venue to hear the case.

Total Safety U.S. Inc. submitted a four-page motion to transfer March 16 before Galveston County Court at Law No. 2, stating "no basis exists mandating or permitting venue" in Galveston County.

As previously reported, Grand Bay, Ala., resident William Kibby is suing Total Safety, BP, Subsea 7 (US) LLC and Offshore Inland Marine & Oilfield Services Inc. after he allegedly inhaled chemicals while he helped clean in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Kibby states the deck of the vessel to which he was assigned was awash with oil dispersants as they leaked from equipment and improperly marked containers being used by the crew while performing their work in applying undiluted dispersants directly to the oil spill coming from the riser of the BP Macondo oil well. The suit states he and the other workers were not properly trained nor provided with the necessary personal protective equipment.

According to the plaintiff, the alleged exposure inflicted "serious and disabling" personal injuries to his throat, lungs and other internal organs, which he says require extensive medical monitoring.

Meanwhile, Total Safety, which the original petition faults for poor safety practices, insists Kibby did not assert himself as a resident of Galveston County nor claim all or a substantial part of the alleged events occur in the jurisdiction in question.

The motion affirms Total Safety to be based in Harris County and requests the litigation be heard there.

An original answer countering Kibby's complaints accompanies the document.

Strasburger & Price LLP is representing Total Safety.

Cause No. 66,980

More News