July 2011 Newsletter

Oilfield Explosion Case Settled

The firm recently settled a case for the family of a deceased oilfield worker.  On March 6, 2009, a workover rig crew was attempting to plug and abandon a gas well for a large oil company near Carlsbad, New Mexico when the well exploded.  The explosion propelled the “christmas tree” (set of valves and fittings at top of well) high into the air.  As the workers ran away, the equipment fell onto and killed a rig worker.  New Mexico law provides immunity to the employer for its negligence.   In spite of substantial evidence of misconduct by the employer, the firm was able to prove that the oil company and another of its contractors ignored safety concerns leading up to the accident.  A settlement was reached with the oil company and contractor before trial.  The case against the employer continues.

Oilfield Valve Failure – Brain Injury – Confidential Settlement

In the Spring of 2010, a 26-year-old man sustained a traumatic brain injury when a valve exploded, striking him in the head, at an oil well in Yoakum County.  After substantial rehabilitation, our client was released to live with his mother due to his diminished capacity and inability to obtain competitive employment.  In June of this year, after a year-long fight, we helped our client reach a confidential multi-million dollar settlement.  The settlement is structured to take care of all financial needs for the rest of his life.  Our client now has the freedom to live with his children, in his own home, and free of financial uncertainty.

Favorable Arbitration Award for Ankle Injury

We brought a claim against our client’s employer, who had elected not to carry workers’ compensation coverage, for its negligence and the negligence of its employee driving the forklift.  Our firm was able to prove that the forklift driver was negligent in failing to keep a proper lookout while operating the forklift; and that our client’s employer was negligent in failing to provide our client a safe place to work due to an icy condition on the floor and a dangerous blind spot, which both existed at the intersection where the collision occurred.  The arbitrator awarded a favorable result to our client.

Newly Licensed Insurance Adjuster

Our firm would like to congratulate Tony Acosta, a claims adjuster in our Odessa office, for earning his Insurance Adjuster’s license. With over 16 years of experience working in plaintiffs law, Tony brings significant experience to our team and handling personal injury claims for our clients. Tony is fluent in English and Spanish and joined our team in January 2011.