Since we are currently representing two workers who were injured and burned on the Black Elk platform explosion in November 2012, I was asked to comment on the recent Fieldwood Energy platform explosion. Here are my thoughts.
The injured workers are entitled to compensation from the platform owner. Under BSEE regulations the platform owner, Fieldwood, had strict obligations to the workers on the platform, including safety regulations. In many platform cases, these owners will hire a ‘company man’ to work on the platform. This company man is also responsible for safety on the platform to a large degree. He, and his company, will have to answer for what happened. As to the employer of the workers, Turnkey Cleaning Services, they could face workers compensation claims from the deceased employee’s family, as well as from the injured workers.
Injuries on platforms like the Fieldwood platform will most likely have to be brought to a court in Louisiana. In the Black Elk case, lawyers from Houston tried to file suits over there, only to be told by our Louisiana court that their claims needed to be here. And since the platform was off the coast of Louisiana, Louisiana state will apply to the claims.
Platform cases can result in significant recovery for the families of the injured and deceased workers. It is our hope that they find fair compensation.