The Louisiana Record Jul. 13, 2016, 2:43pm


NEW ORLEANS — A St. James Parish man is suing multiple companies, alleging their negligence caused his helicopter to fall into the Gulf of Mexico.

Matthew Holeton filed a lawsuit June 23 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against Island Operating Company, Inc. Walter Oil & Gas Corp. and ABC Cleaning Company, alleging negligence and breach of duty in failing to ensure a helideck was reasonably safe for operations.

According to the complaint, on June 28, 2015, Holeton he was working for Rotorcraft as a captain and pilot of a Bell 407 helicopter on the South Timbalier oil platform. The suit says Holeton initiated preflight procedures and engine start-up. 

As the rotors began turning, the lawsuit states, the helicopter slid off of the improperly cleaned helideck and fell 80 feet into the Gulf of Mexico, causing severe and debilitating injuries to the plaintiff's back and spine, which were broken after impact with the water. As a direct result, he has sustained loss wages and earning capacity, medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish and disability. 

The plaintiff alleges the defendants failed to remove glycol from the various surfaces and decks of the platform, failed to warn Holeton of any latent dangers, of which the operator and/or subcontractor, owner/operator, and/or the cleaning company should have been aware.

Holeton seeks a trial by jury, damages, all legal costs plus all general and equitable relief. He is represented by attorneys Hugh P. Lambert, Cayce C. Peterson, Jacki Smith and Morgan Embleton of The Lambert Firm PLC in New Orleans.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana Case number 2:16-cv-11469

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U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
500 Poydras Street
New Orleans, LA 70113

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