Transocean worker claiming injuries before explosion sues in federal court

Michelle Massey Apr. 22, 2011, 4:40am


A worker on Transocean's Deepwater Horizon who claims he was injured just a few days before the rig exploded last year in the Gulf of Mexico has filed a lawsuit against the company for not providing a safe place to work.

Elmo Spruel filed suit against Transocean Holdings, Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc. and Transocean Deepwater Inc. on April 13 in federal court in New Orleans.

Spruel's alleged accident occurred on April 16, 2010 as Spruel was working on the Deepwater Horizon rig. The rig exploded on April 20, 2010.

Spruel claims he was working between two large tanks and was transporting pieces of pipe to different locations when he tripped over a cinder block that was protruding from under one of the tanks. He fell to the deck of the rig and landed on his right hand. According to the complaint, Spruel bent his fingers back which resulted in permanent nerve damage.

He is seeking damages for failing to recognize the dangerous circumstances, failing to provide proper equipment for movement of materials and for failing to provide a safe place to work.

Spruel is represented by Charles C. Bourque Jr., Christopher J. St. Martin, Joseph G. Jevic III and Adam J. Triplett of St. Martin & Bourque in Houma.

U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-00818

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