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Texas oil rig worker sues employer after crane accident

A Longview, Texas, oil rig worker has filed a personal injury claim against Energy Drilling Co. in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division alleging that he suffered serious injuries due to the use of a non-certified crane at his job site. The worker was reportedly hit by a stack of winches weighing about 5,000 pounds as he was working on an oil rig owned by the defendant.

The accident happened on Oct. 23, 2010 while the plaintiff worker was on the rig floor and a worker employed by Energy Drilling attempted to lift a set of stacked winches using an "improper" technique. Soon, the employee reportedly lost control of the stack of winches, allowing them to swing free and strike the plaintiff worker.

The personal injury lawsuit accuses the employer of negligence, failing to provide a safe work environment, failing to protect the plaintiff from work-related hazards, failing to properly train its employers and failing to implement appropriate safety policies. Additionally, the lawsuit accuses the defendant of gross negligence for using a non-certified crane.

Although the extent of the worker's injuries was not reported, he appears to have suffered permanent harm. The lawsuit is seeking damages for physical pain, mental anguish, physical impairment, medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity and court costs.

Employers have a duty to provide a safe working environment for their employees. When they fail to do this, injuries are likely. Personal injury lawsuits serve as a reminder to Texas companies that they must put the safety and health of their workers first.

Source: The Southeast Texas Record, "Oil rig worker claims injury due to non-certified crane," Michelle Keahey, Oct. 24, 2011.

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