La. man blames lower back injury on defective drilling rig

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Aug 29, 2013

HOUSTON - A Louisiana man has initiated legal action against his employer in response to sustaining injuries to his back while on the job more than a year ago, recent court documents say.

Pioneer, La., resident Robert Hebert's lawsuit, filed Aug. 22 in Houston federal court, explains that the event in question occurred as Hebert worked on a drilling rig belonging to Ensign United States Drilling on Jan. 29, 2012.

Hebert consequently seeks $1.5 million in damages and a jury trial.

The rig was a part of a batch the defendant reportedly planned to purchase from Rowan Companies Inc., which is not a respondent in the litigation.

Herbert, who worked as the rig's daylight supervisor, states the rig was "several" years old and bore "significant" safety defects, insisting it was the only one not fixed.

"Wires leading to the mud pump motor and other items of equipment were placed loose in trays," the original petition says.

"They were tangled up."

The suit further shows that the complainant tried to pull wires through the trays only to hurt his lower back.

As a result, he suffered degenerative disc disease, bulging discs and other problems in his lower back, it says.

He is represented by attorney Steven C. Barkley of Beaumont.

Case No. 4:13-CV-2468

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