District judge recalls previously dismissed defendant in offshore drilling injury lawsuit

By Payton Kuhn | Jun 1, 2019

NEW ORLEANS – A U.S. District Court judge has granted defendant Spartan Offshore Drilling's motion to recall a third-party defendant, Gordon Reed, regarding a workplace injury lawsuit.

The case involves the plaintiff, Peter Angelle, who alleges that while working as an employee for Reed, he “tripped on a packer stem sticking out of a pallet, fell over a handrail and to the vessel deck.” He claims the incident led him to injure multiple portions of his spine, his right shoulder, and other joints and tissues, and is seeking damages for medical expenses and physical pain.

In response, Spartan, whose drilling vessel was was implicated in the incident, requested the court to recall Gordon Reed, who was dismissed as a defendant in a prior summary judgment. Angelle’s litigation service had agreed with the merits of the motion, as long as it’s effect wouldn’t push back the date of trial.

In the statement posted on May 6, Judge Eldon Fallon of the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana granted the defendant’s motion, citing the distance of the impending trial and the factual evidence that was offered within the lawsuit continues to implicate Reed. He also found that given Reed’s prior involvement regarding the litigation, it would presumably offer “facts and allegations upon which [the] case is based.”

Furthermore, Fallon found that “permitting this third-party complaint will allow for all claims arising under these facts to be brought in one case, whereas denying this motion would result in unnecessarily duplicative and costly litigation.”

The expected trial date, scheduled more than three months from the order, is expected to remain as is.

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