Injury Compensation News

Rig Worker Awarded Crush Workplace Injury Compensation

July 12, 2012

A rig worker from Louisiana, who suffered permanent debilitating injuries when he was crushed between a drill pipe and the derrick leg of the gas rig he was working on, has been awarded 4.1 million dollars in crush workplace injury compensation.

Von Phathong, aged 42, was employed by Houston-based Tesco Corp (US) as a “roughneck” (labourer) on a drilling rig at Rifle, Colorado, when the accident occurred in December 2005. As he was aiding with the change of heavyweight drilling pipe, the unsecured lower drill pipe fell into Von and crushed him against the rig´s derrick leg.

Von suffered many spinal fractures and herniated cervical discs and will never work again because of the pain he experiences whenever he moves. After being discharged from hospital, Von sought legal advice about claiming compensation for a crush injury at work and, as Tesco Corp (US) denied their liability for Von´s injuries, the case was heard before the United States District Court.

In court, Von´s solicitors showed evidence that the “crossover sub” which was being used to join the two drilling pipes had the wrong thread and the supervisor on the rig had tried to use a powerful top-drive to force the thread of the crossover sub and the drill pipe together. It was also shown that the drill pipe which caused Von´s injuries should have been safely secured before the operation was begun.

Further evidence at the hearing established that Tesco Corp´s health and safety was the worst ever seen by a drilling expert supporting Von´s claim for crush injury at work compensation and that the site worked on a culture of “intimidation and fear”. The jury found Tesco Corp (US) 90 percent to blame for Von´s injuries and awarded him 4.1 million dollars in compensation for a crush injury at work

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