June 12, 2019 — An oil company from Houston, Texas will pay over $1.6 million to the family of a worker from Alabama who died after an explosion occurred in the North Dakota oil patch.

The federal criminal lawsuit accuses C&J Well Services of violating safety regulations and causing the death of Dustin Payne, a 29-year-old Marine veteran from Hazel Green, Alabama.

Payne was welding inside a water hauling tank that was not properly cleaned and vented. When he ignited his welding torch, it caused a massive explosion of hydrocarbon vapor mixtures inside the tank.

The tragic accident occurred in October 2014, according to the Insurance Journal.

C&J Well Services will pay $1.6 million to the Payne’s family, as well as a $500,000 fine, according to the plea agreement. OSHA also fined the company more than $97,000 in 2015.

C&J Energy Services, formerly called Nabors Completion and Production Services, is a provider of oil well construction, oil well completions and other oil well services.

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