American worker in Iraq sues Emerson, Royal Dutch Shell over oil field injury

By Annie Cosby | Jun 18, 2014

A man is suing over claims he was injured while working for an American company in Iraq.

Diksit Sharma filed a lawsuit June 9 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas against Emerson Process Management LLP, Emerson FZE, Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Shell Iraq Petroleum Development B.V., citing breach of contract.

According to the complaint, Sharma was contracted by Emerson as a service engineer at their Basra, Iraq, location May 16, 2013, for compensation of $1,200 a day.

Sharma says he was sent to Shell's Majnoon Oil Field in Iraq on Aug. 19, 2013, when the cover on a storm water pit he was walking on gave way, causing him to fall approximately 12 feet and sustain injuries.

The complaint alleges Sharma was not able to work again until March 28, 2014, and was not paid or reimbursed for the time he was injured, even though Emerson extended his contract and an incident report found Shell was negligent in the design and construction of the storm water pit covers.

Sharma also claims he was forced to stay with family in India while he was not being paid, which made him required to pay $40,000 in Indian residential taxes.

The defendants are accused of breach of contract, negligence and premises liability.

Sharma is seeking more than $75,000 in damages.

He is being represented in the case by attorney Tej R. Paranjpe of Paranjpe & Mahadass LLP in Houston.

Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas Case No. 4:14-cv-01600

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it only represents one side of the story.

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