John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jun. 17, 2013, 4:33pm

HOUSTON - A Louisiana man is suing a host of companies following an explosion on an offshore platform last year that he claims left him with "serious and debilitating" bodily and mental injuries.

Michael Jude Voclain names Black Elk Energy LLC, Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations LLC, Wood Group USA Inc., Wood Group PSN Inc., Grand Isle Shipyard Inc. and Compass Engineering and Consultants LLC as defendants in his personal injury lawsuit, which was filed June 14 in Houston federal court.

Recent court documents explain that Voclain, an employee of Enviro Tech Systems Inc., was working on the West Delta 32 production platform located off the waters of Grand Isle, La., on Nov. 16, 2012, when suddenly and without warning an explosion and fire erupted during a pipe cutting operation.

According to Voclain, the event was caused by "the negligent use of a cutting torch instead of a saw or other non-sparking device on a pipe containing hydrocarbon product that ignited and exploded."

The original petition faults Black Elk and Wood Group for authorizing unsafe and negligent conduct in operations under their control while Grand Isle Shipyard is blamed for its workers negligently using the wrong tool to cut the pipe that caused the incident.

Voclain insists he did nothing to bring forth the injuries of which he complains.

Consequently, he seeks unspecified monetary damages.

Attorney John W. Stevenson Jr. of Stevenson & Murray in Houston is representing the complainant.

Case No. 4:13-CV-1738

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