On June 18, a judge awarded $518,000 to a worker whose fingers were crushed in an accident on an oil rig. In 2005, Ryan Speights, a Diamond Offshore Management Co. employee, was cleaning a piece of equipment with a riser brush owned by Baker Hughes Oilfield Operations. A Baker Hughes employee was also there to assist with the use of the brush, which was stored with a protective metal guard. As Speights loosened the bolt to remove the guard, the guard slipped and crushed his right hand, resulting in the loss of one finger and severe damage to his thumb. Speights sued his employer and Baker Hughes, claiming the brush had been placed in an unsafe position. The defense argued that Speights should have noticed the danger and waited to remove the guard.
Speights v. Diamond Offshore Management Co., No. 3:07-cv-00210
Court: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Galveston
Plaintiff's Attorneys: Anthony G. Buzbee and Peter Taafe, The Buzbee Law Firm, Galveston; Allain F. Hardin, New Orleans
Defense Attorney: James R. Watkins, Royston, Rayzor, Vickery & Williams, Galveston
August 18, 2008