June 4, 2014 — Valley Central reports that four oil rig workers have been awarded $1.375 million in compensation for work-related brain injuries.
The oil rig accident occurred in 2012. The four men were electricians who were working in the engine room of the Sam Noble oil rig, which was dry docked at Keppel Amfels shipyard in the Port of Brownsville.
Another crew working on the rig’s fire-safety system flooded the engine room with carbon dioxide without making sure the room was clear, as required by safety protocols.
Within a matter of seconds, the four electricians passed out. They were deprived of oxygen for 15 minutes and found unconscious, foaming at the mouth, and convulsing. The men now suffer from hypoxic brain injuries, including sleep problems, memory loss, and personality disorders. Three of the men are back at work, but are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Inspectors found that the carbon dioxide alarm in the engine room hadn’t worked for two years. Generally, the owners and operators of an oil rig have a responsibility for maintaining the rig’s safety equipment. If they fail to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of employees, they can potentially be held liable for injuries that occurred as a result of their negligence.
Jurors in Texas found three companies liable for the injuries: Fire and Safety Specialists, Inc., Noble Drilling Services, Inc., and Keppel Amfels L.L.C. The money awarded will be split among the four electricians.
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