David Yates Sep. 5, 2012, 12:26pm

After two years of litigation, Diamond Offshore Drilling and Signal International had their motion to leave to designate responsible third party granted Tuesday in a suit filed over a blow to the head a man received while working aboard a docked oil platform.

As previously reported, John Hamdan filed suit against the defendant companies on Oct. 15, 2010, in Jefferson County District Court.

According to the lawsuit, on Feb. 22, 2009, Hamdan was employed by Southern Sandblasting & Coating working aboard the Ocean America, a platform owned by Diamond Offshore and docked at a facility maintained by Signal.

He was injured when “an object from the rig fell from above, striking his head and causing him to be knocked unconscious,” the suit states.

However, on April 9 Diamond and Signal filed their motion to designate, stating that Hamdan’s employer, Southern, was partially responsible for his safety and that testimony shows that the object that struck him was sand.

At the time of the incident, Southern was involved with hanging scaffolding, sanding and sandblasting and it was Southern employees who caused the injury, the motion states.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, agreed, granting the motion on Sept. 4, which designated Southern as a responsible third party, court records show.

Hamdan claims he injured his head, neck and shoulders in the incident, court papers say.

He is suing for past and future mental anguish, medical expenses, pain, lost earnings and impairment.

Hamdan is represented by Houston attorney Matthew Shaffer of Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris.

The defendants are represented by attorney Robert Killeen Jr. of the Houston law firm Killeen & Stern.

Case No. A188-617

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