In February of 2013, Cordell St. Julien was injured while removing rigging from a structure on the BP-owned oil rig where he was employed. St. Julien claims that he was injured due to inclement conditions. According to St. Julien, the water was too choppy that day, and waves were breaking over the rig, sloshing onto the floor where he was working, and creating a slippery surface.
St. Julien has filed a suit in the US Court in Texas against Hornbeck Offshore Services and BP, claiming that work should have been postponed until conditions were not hazardous to the safety of crewmembers. Unfortunately, this kind of situation is not that uncommon in almost any field. Employers are under pressure to make money. They often lose sight of anything but the bottom line, and that’s when injuries can happen. Consulting with a Galveston oil rig injury attorney can help you to know your rights.
St. Julien feels that he would have lost his job had he refused to perform this task on the day that he was told to. He also feels that the task should have been put off until it was safe to perform. Since the rig is owned and operated by US-based companies, and St. Julien is a US citizen, he’ll be covered under the Jones Act of 1920. A Galveston oil rig injury attorney will be able to walk him through all of his rights.
Workers should never have to choose between their jobs and their reasonable safety. While maritime work comes with its risks, a Galveston oil rig injury attorney, like the ones at Kirkendall Dwyer LLP, can help you familiarize yourself with the risks that are expected of you and when you have recourse against unreasonable requests. They can also help you to know your rights in the case of an accident on the job.
In the Gulf of Mexico, on September 8, 2011, the lift boat Trinity II capsized, due to sustained damage from weathering Hurricane Nate. The crew donned life vests and evacuated the vessel. Of the 10-person crew – all of whom made it off of the ship, clinging to a single 12-person emergency life float – 3 died by the time emergency services found them. Unfortunately, a fourth later died in the hospital, as well. All 6 of the survivors sustained serious injuries.
This case goes to show how not only crewmembers, but also their families should seek consultation with a Galveston offshore attorney. If you or one of your loved ones is a maritime worker based in Texas, you should call a Galveston offshore attorney, like the ones at Kirkendall Dwyer LLP, to learn your rights in the case of an accident like this.
Under the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, crewmembers of maritime vessels built, owned, and operated in the United States have special rights to compensation if they are injured on the job. That’s why it’s so important to employ a Galveston offshore attorney. They can help you navigate through the laws that apply to your case.
In the case of the Trinity II, the accident was caused by the effects of a hurricane. Hurricanes, unfortunately, can’t always be avoided. However, maritime vessels need to be maintained for the safety of their crews. A well-maintained vessel will have a greater chance of surviving a bad storm than one that has been neglected. Negligence can lead to loss of life.
If you are a maritime worker, you should know your rights. After speaking with a maritime attorney, you may be able to point out maintenance needs and areas of negligence to your employer before something happens. In the case of a bad accident, an offshore attorney can help you and your family find the right course of action.