Oil rig worker sues after falling four feet to derrick floor

Michelle Keahey Jun. 13, 2011, 11:58am

An oil-rig worker has filed a lawsuit against his employer after a piece of equipment knocked him out of his stand and he was injured.

Claiming the equipment was defective and ultimately resulted in his personal injuries, Raphael James Castille and Karen Castille filed suit against Precision Drilling Co. and Blackhawk Specialty Tools on June 1 in federal court in New Orleans.

According to the lawsuit, Raphael Castille was employed by Frank's Casing Crew to work aboard Precision Drilling Co.'s land-based rig at Sabine Pass. Castille states he was injured when he was knocked off of the stand and fell four feet to the derrick floor. He accuses the defendant Blackhawk Specialty Tools of providing a special cement tool that had a poor design because of valves running out of each side, as well as a loose collar upon the tool.

The valves caught on the lines causing which allegedly knocked Castille off of the stand.

Precision Drilling is accused of negligence for failing to provide a safe place to work, requiring the casing crew to work more than 40 hours straight, failing to provide the plaintiff with competent personnel, failing to provide proper rules and safety regulations and failing to provide safe materials, means and appliances. Blackhawk Specialty Tools is accused of negligence for supplying an unsafe and improperly designed cement tool, not removing the valves from the sides of the cement tool in spite of requests of supervisors, failing to enforce proper rules and regulations and in failing to provide safe mans to work.

The plaintiffs are seeking more than $1.2 million in damages for mental pain and anguish, physical pain and suffering, medical expenses, loss of consortium, interest and court costs.

Castille is represented by Donald G. Cave of Cave Law Firm in Baton Rouge. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-01302

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