Offshore worker seeks $1.35 million claiming stress from platform fire hinders work ability

Michelle Keahey Aug. 22, 2011, 2:58am


An offshore worker, who was forced to abandon an oil platform when a fire erupted, has filed a lawsuit that claims he can no longer worker in an offshore environment due to stress.

Asking for more than $1.35 million, Randall Craig filed the lawsuit against Apache Deepwater, formerly known as Mariner Energy Inc. on Aug. 16 in federal court in New Orleans.

The fire occurred on Sept. 2, 2010, as Craig and other Nature Corp. employees were performing their normal work duties on an oil and gas production platform. The employees were attempting to bring the production platform back on line when it erupted in fire. The escape capsules located in the corners of the platform were inaccessible and unusable, the suit claims.

Employees were evacuated to a lower level of the platform where the emergency supply box held an insufficient number of life jackets for the employees, the suit claims.

Workers remained in rough seas of the Gulf of Mexico for approximately three hours before being rescued, the suit claims.

Craig states that since the incident he has been unable to bear the stress associated with the offshore environment. He has been forced to take a lower paying position, which does not pose the same level of hazard.

The defendant is accused of failing to provide Craig a safe place to work, failing to perform the work operations of bringing the platform back on line in a safe and appropriate manner, failing to control the platform well bore structures and failing to properly utilize appropriate well control equipment.

The plaintiff is seeking more than $1.35 million in damages for physical and mental pain and suffering, loss of income, loss of earning capacity, medical expenses, interest and costs.

Craig is represented by New Orleans attorney Michael J. Mestayer and Christian Creed of Creed & Creed in Monroe.

Case No. 2:11-cv-02029

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