Mississippi men injured in BP rig explosion file suit in Galveston County

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Jun 2, 2010

The Deepwater Horizon offshore rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico after an explosion on April 20.

GALVESTON - Two Mississippi men who were aboard the Deepwater Horizon when it exploded off the Louisiana coast last month have filed a Jones Act lawsuit against BP, Halliburton, and Cameron International.

Billy Coon and Carl Taylor state they were critically injured as a result of the April 20 blast which killed 11 workers and is spilling approximately 200,000 gallons of oil daily into the Gulf of Mexico.

Their suit was filed May 28 in Galveston County Court No. 2.

"The defendants' conduct was willful, wanton, arbitrary, and capricious," the original petition says.

"They acted with flagrant and malicious disregard of the plaintiffs' health and safety and the health and safety of the plaintiffs' co-workers."

The plaintiffs, who were employed by Transocean as seamen, claim they suffered physical injuries, smoke inhalation and hearing loss.

Coon alleges his path to a lifeboat was blocked by the blast.

"Rather than just taking off in a lifeboat, Mr. Coon helped load wounded men," the suit says.

Coon and Taylor consequently seek unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

Arnold & Itkin LLP is representing the complainants.

The case has been assigned to Galveston County Court No. 2 Judge C.G. "Trey" Dibrell III.

Cause No. 63,010

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