Carol Ostrow Aug. 27, 2015, 9:41am


An oil industry worker is suing a major oil company alleging negligence and breach of duty in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill allegedly leading to the plaintiff’s permanent injuries.

Ronald Ducote sued Illinois-based BP Exploration & Production Inc. and BP America Production Co. of Houston, on July 27 in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana alleging three counts of negligence under general maritime law in the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout and resulting oil spill.

According to the lawsuit, the complainant was hired by BP to work as an oil spill cleanup worker as part of the Vessels of Opportunity Program; the plaintiff’s direct employer was U.S. Maritime Services Inc. of New Orleans.

The suit states that Ducote was exposed to toxic, volatile and carcinogenic compound in his capacity as vessel captain under BP’s supervision operating within wetlands and coastal waters of the St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes in Louisiana from June through December 2010.

According to the suit, the plaintiff came into dermal and airborne contact with crude oil, which contains benzene and other organic compounds; as well as other chemical dispersants containing hazardous substances.

The plaintiff avers that he developed severe physical and psychological complications following exposure including respiratory and dermatological disorders, and has incurred medical expenses.

Ducote charges BP with willful failure to provide adequate training and protection, ignoring worker safety and government warnings, and perpetuating a culture of disregard in favor of financial profit. Requesting compensatory and punitive damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney’s fees, expenses, and costs, he is represented by Joseph Piacun, Thomas A. Gennusa II and Reid Uzee of Gennusa, Piacun & Ruli in Metairie.

U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana Case 2:15-cv-02987-CJB-JCW

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