Oil platform worker sues after slipping off a ladder and falling down

Michelle Keahey Apr. 17, 2012, 3:47am

NEW ORLEANS - A service technician has filed a lawsuit against the owner of a fixed drilling platform, claiming he slipped on mud and fell while descending a ladder.

Thomas Clement and Lynden Clement filed suit against Superior Energy Services Inc., Dynamic Offshore Resources, Boots & Coots Special Services Inc. and Boots & Coots Services on April 5 in federal court in New Orleans.

At the time of the alleged incident, on April 24, 2011, Thomas Clement was employed by B & B Oilfield Services as a service technician and was assigned to work on the Bullwinkle, a fixed drilling platform.

Clement states he sustained serious physical injuries to his left leg when he fell as he descended the ladder on the exterior of the snubbing unit. At the time of his fall, Clement was wearing full fall arrest gear and using the Sala block attached to the top of the snubbing unit.

According to the lawsuit, Clement's boot slipped on a ladder run that was coated with drilling mud and he lost his footing. The Sala block failed to engage, allowing Clements to free fall to the floor of the platform.

The defendants are accused of negligence for failing to follow reasonable and necessary safety procedures, failing to properly train, supervise, and inform personnel, failing to provide a safe place to work, failing to secure or supply equipment, apparel and furnishings which were safe and fit for their intended use, and for the failure to provide adequate equipment.

The defendants are also accused of engaging and assigning an insufficient or unqualified crew, failing to carefully inspect the snubbing unit for deficiencies, failing to recognize the obvious dangers present at the scene of an accident, failing to conduct a job safety and analysis, and for failing to device and implement a plan which sufficiently considered personnel safety issues.

The plaintiff is seeking an award of damages for loss of earnings, extreme physical and mental pain, suffering and disability, physical disfigurement, loss of his enjoyment of life, medical expenses, loss of consortium, society and services, interest, and court costs.

Clement is represented by Houma attorney 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 Stanwood R. Duval Jr. is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-00891

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