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Maritime Injury

Oil Industry Safety Takes Center Stage as Workers Strike

by Keith Adkins | March 4th, 2015

The oil industry is an essential part of Louisiana’s economy, accounting for millions—if not billions—of dollars in revenue each year. Despite these large profits, the industry continues to be one of the most dangerous lines of work in Louisiana.

The Louisiana maritime accident rate among workers in the offshore drilling industry is one of the highest in the nation. These unsafe working conditions can lead to workers suffering injuries and fatalities while on the job.

These risks were underscored by a Louisiana plant explosion at a petroleum processing facility outside Baton Rouge that killed two workers and injured 114 others in 2013. Dangers like these leave many citizens wondering what is being done to improve safety and working conditions in Louisiana’s oil industry.

According to an article from Bloomberg Business, some Louisiana oil workers are currently on strike in hopes of securing improved working conditions and better worker safety. Union organizers say they believe local workers should handle day-to-day maintenance duties at oil facilities, rather than contractors, because of safety concerns. Oil companies have called the demand “unreasonable”; however, contract negotiations are expected to continue today.

At Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers, we recognize the risks oil workers face each day and our Baton Rouge personal injury attorneys are optimistic that a mutually beneficial agreement can be reached between oil workers and their employers soon.

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Could Proposed Changes to the Jones Act Increase Maritime Accidents?

by Keith Adkins | August 27th, 2014

Most laws in the United States only apply on our country’s soil, leaving our waterways and oceans unprotected. That’s why there are several laws on the books in the United States—such as the Jones Act— that were created to keep accidents from occurring on the water and give injured victims recourse in the event of an accident.

The Jones Act is a federal statute that requires all maritime commerce on waterways in the United States and between U.S. ports to be conducted by U.S. flagged ships, constructed in the U.S. and owned by U.S. companies and citizens. The act also formalizes the rights of seamen. However, some are calling for alterations to the law that would improve profitability in the oil industry.

Reuters reports refineries and oil producers are calling on legislators to allow the use of alternative transportation sources to export crude oil. They claim doing so could significantly decrease shipping costs. Opponents to the change feel such a move would hinder the integrity of the merchant marine and could result in a maritime accident that causes casualties or injuries.

The Louisiana personal injury attorneys with Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers understand the importance of the Jones Act and encourage anyone who has been hurt while working on the water to speak with a lawyer about how this law could affect you.

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Louisiana Maritime Accident Claims Oil Rig Worker’s Life

by Keith Adkins | October 31st, 2013

October 30, 2013

The mining and extraction industry is one of the most dangerous lines of work in the United States today. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that last year, a total of 177 workers in the industry were killed as a result of on-the-job accidents, with a large portion of those accidents occurring on offshore oilrigs. The Louisiana Maritime Injury Lawyers with Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers explain that one such accident recently claimed the life of a 38-year-old man.

An article from Rappler claims the victim was part of a crew hired to tear down a section of the platform. However, the worker was struck by a storage tank and was knocked overboard, where he then fell to his death in the water 100 feet below.

Accidents like this leave many wondering who is held responsible for such an accident. Dudley DeBosier’s team of Louisiana Personal Injury Lawyers say liability in the event of an accident at sea is determined using maritime law, which is a set of rules that regulate activities on open water. For instance, the Death on the High Seas Act of 1920 states the family of a victim of an accident at sea has a right to, “recovery of damages against a ship owner”

The process of utilizing these laws to hold the parties responsible for an accident accountable is often a complex process though. That’s why the firm suggests discussing your case with an attorney if you are considering filing such a claim.

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Louisiana Maritime Accidents Prompt Officials To Consider Safety Improvements

by Keith Adkins | July 31st, 2013

July 31, 2013

A rig drilling for natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico exploded last week as a result of what investigators believe was a faulty piece of equipment. While the Louisiana Maritime Accident did not result in any injuries to the rig’s crew, it has sparked a debate amongst lawmakers as to whether better safety regulations are needed in the drilling and mining industry.

According to Fuel Fix, the explosion happened aboard the Hercules 265 on Tuesday July 23. Experts believe that a blowout prevention mechanism on the well failed, resulting in a massive blast and subsequent fire aboard the rig.

This is the second accident within a month in the waters off of the Louisiana coastline. On July 9, a crew lost control of a well in the Gulf and allowed a gas and oil mixture to leak for roughly three days.

These incidents have prompted officials, including the director of the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, James Watson, to discuss reform to safety regulations with the drilling industry’s top executives. Some of the changes being considered include design and testing changes to blowout preventers that are installed on wells. Others have called for more stringent fines to be levied against company’s involved in such accidents.

The Louisiana Personal Injury Lawyers applaud the efforts being made to improve the safety of the drilling industry and hope these reforms are effective in better protecting drilling rig workers from harm.

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Drilling Industry Employees More Likely To Be Killed In Work-Related Accidents

by Keith Adkins | May 1st, 2013

May 1, 2013

A new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shown a significantly higher risk of fatal Maritime Accidents compared to other types of fatal work-related incidents.

According to an article released by The Huffington Post, researchers found that employees working on oil and gas drilling platforms were seven times more likely to be killed in on-the-job accidents compared to workers in other industries. This conclusion was drawn from data collected by the CDC.

Numbers showed that from 2003 to 2010, a total of 128 workers were killed while employed by offshore drilling operations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics figured this gives the industry a fatality rate of 27.1 per 100,000 workers. The rate for other industries is 3.8 fatalities per 100,000 workers.

Most of the fatalities were caused by transportation accidents, including helicopter crashes that were caused by weather. A total of 49 lives were lost during the studied time period due to helicopter accidents. In an effort to prevent such incidents, new regulations regarding the flight of such aircraft during inclimate weather were adopted.

The Louisiana Personal Injury Attorneys with Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers acknowledge the dangers workers on drilling platforms face on a daily basis. The firm may be able to help a person who has been hurt in an on-the-job accident that was no fault of their own.

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Four Workers Seriously Injured In Louisiana Maritime Accident

by Keith Adkins | March 20th, 2013

March 20, 2013

Louisiana Maritime Accident that occurred last week resulted in four workers being seriously injured. Newsday explained the incident happened last Tuesday at around 6:00 p.m. in Bayou Perot, just 30-miles south of New Orleans.

Reports indicate that a tugboat was pushing an oil barge through shallow water when the pair of vessels collided with an underwater natural gas line. The impact caused an explosion and subsequent fire that burned for several days.

Injured during the incident were four crewmembers of the ships. They were each transported to a local hospital for further examinations. Three of the men were treated and released from the facility; however, the captain of the oil barge, the Shannon E. Settoon, sustained second and third degree burns to his body and was taken to a burn unit in serious condition.

The accident has left many who work on the water wondering how they should handle such a situation in the event they are injured on the job. The Louisiana Personal Injury Attorneys with Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers explain the laws regarding an accident on the water are completely different than those for an on-land incident.

That is why the firm encourages anyone who has been hurt in an accident on the water to contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.

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Trial Stemming From Gulf Oil Spill Begins This Week

by Keith Adkins | February 27th, 2013

February 27, 2013

The trial against oil giants British Petroleum (BP), Transocean Ltd., and Halliburton Co. stemming from the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill began yesterday in federal court. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the aim of the court proceedings is to determine if the companies’ gross negligence was responsible for causing the accident.

Court documents show the explosion that occurred aboard the Deep Water Horizon Oil Platform was responsible for killing 11 workers, injuring dozens of others, and spilling an estimated 4 million barrels of crude oil into the ocean.

If gross negligence is found to be the cause of the Louisiana Maritime Accident, BP could be held responsible for as much as $17.6 billion in fines stemming from the Clean Water Act, as well as an undetermined amount in punitive damages to those who were injured who have not accepted settlement deals. A decision of gross negligence by the judge hearing the case could also mean Transocean and Halliburton could be held liable for paying restitution to all parties who were harmed by the spill.

The judge will examine the case based on maritime law, including the Jones Act, to determine if the companies were at fault for the spill.

The Louisiana Personal Injury Lawyers with Dudley DeBosier are hopeful a decision in the case will help bring those who were harmed by the spill one step closer to gaining closure to the tragedy.

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Payouts Connected To Gulf Oil Spill Top $1 Billion

by Keith Adkins | January 9th, 2013

January 9, 2013

It was announced earlier this week by officials with the Gulf Coast Claims facility, the organization overseeing payouts from settlements connected to the BP oil spill that occurred several years ago, that the amount of money paid in connection to the spill has reached more than $1 billion. The Times-Picayune explained where the money is going and what the future of claims connected to the matter may hold.

The claims stem from the April 2010 blast aboard the Deep Horizon Drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico that was owned by British Petroleum (BP). The explosion resulted in the deaths of 11 rig workers and numerous others suffering a Louisiana Maritime Injury.

Since the blast occurred, more than 100,000 damage claims have been filed in connection to the incident and BP estimates it will cost roughly $7.8 billion to bring all the claims to rest. Experts say that while only $1 billion has been paid to those accepting settlements, there is already more than another half a billion in settlements that are awaiting payment. Officials say 95 percent of those who filed claims have accepted settlement deals.

Officials added those wishing to be part of a $2.3 billion seafood compensation program have until January 22 to file a claim, while all others have until April 22, 2014 to file a claim.

The Baton Rouge Personal Injury Lawyers with Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers may be able to help if you were significantly harmed by the BP oil spill.


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Louisiana Boating Accident Leaves One Man Dead And Another Injured

by Keith Adkins | August 1st, 2012

August 1, 2012

A Louisiana maritime injury that occurred on the waters of Lake Fordoche in St. Landry Parish Wednesday was responsible for killing one man and injuring another. According to KATC 3 News, the victim’s life may have been saved with the proper use of a life jacket.

The men hit the water for a day of fishing around 10:00 a.m., but were unaware of a log sitting just beneath the surface of the water directly in their path. The boat struck the log and capsized, sending both the 47-year-old driver of the boat and his 66-year-old passenger flying through the air and into the water. Neither was wearing a life preserver at the time of the accident.

Investigator Travis Huval, with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, says that while the driver of the boat was injured, he was able to reach the shore. His passenger’s body was found in the water two hours later.

Huval added, “Wearing a life vest is important out here. If you get ejected, you’ll float and can recover and swim to land or just stay afloat and wait for help.”

The Baton Rouge personal injury lawyers with Dudley DeBosier injury Lawyers would like to remind boaters of not only ensuring there are enough floatation devices on board your vessel for each person, but to also make sure they are each age and weight appropriate for your boat’s passengers as well.

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Settlement Reached In Gulf Oil Spill Discrimination Lawsuit

by Keith Adkins | July 18th, 2012

July 18, 2012

In the wake of one of the worst ocean disasters in history, the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, many women were willing to help in the cleanup process, but said they were discriminated against in the hiring process for those jobs. According to The New York Times, the group of women who filed the class-action lawsuit alleges that spill clean-up contractors who were working for British Petroleum (BP) would not consider their applications to work as part of the cleanup effort.

Both BP and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have adamantly denied the allegations and have argued that neither organization would tolerate behavior of that nature.

The groups did decide that rather than face the costly and time-consuming trial that would surround the case, a $5.4 million settlement was given to a “yet-to-be determined class of women in the gulf region who applied for jobs.” Any woman from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida who is able to prove their claims of discrimination is entitled to a part of the settlement.

Any leftover money that remains after payouts from the settlement will be given to a charity in the Gulf-area that benefits women in the workplace.

The Baton Rouge Personal Injury Lawyers with Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers would encourage anyone who suffered a Louisiana Maritime Injury as a result of the Gulf Oil Spill to discuss your case with a knowledgeable attorney.


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