Richard LaGarde, Injury Attorney, Raises Questions After Tragic Death of Texas Oil Worker
Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) May 6, 2014 - A Texas man was killed at a Rice Energy Inc. gas drilling site in Belmont County, Ohio.
David Zamora, 43, of Victoria, Texas was an employee of subcontractor Lee Specialties Ltd. He was crushed by a piece of heavy equipment on Saturday, April 5.
In its statement, Rice Energy did not explain what type of equipment had killed Zamora. No one else was injured. “Relatively speaking, oil and gas drilling is a dangerous occupation,” said Houston personal injury attorney Richard LaGarde, who is not involved with the case. “Nevertheless, workers have the right to a reasonable level of safety at all times. Investigators have a lot of important questions to ask in an accident like this. Were all safety protocols properly observed prior to the accident? Was the subcontractor made aware of the specific hazards present at the job site? Was there a failure of equipment, and if so, was that equipment properly maintained?”
This is the first fatality for the natural gas industry in Belmont County. Rice Energy is nearing completion of its first Utica Shale gas well. It is also the first major incident at a Rice Energy site, according to a statement from Mike Lauderbaugh, the company's vice president of environmental health and safety.
Operations at the site have been suspended temporarily as the company and authorities investigate the accident. The company said the suspension was self-imposed and that when operations resume, they will be “conducted in the safest manner possible.”
According to Charlie Dixon, the safety and workforce training administrator for the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program, the Ohio oil and gas industry had four fatalities in 2013, two of which occurred in driving accidents. And the Occupational Safety and Health Administration puts the industry's national death toll from 2003 to 2010 at 823.
“When accidents occur at work sites, you can't always count on corporate and government investigators to go digging and find out if there's more to the accident than meets the eye,” LaGarde added. “I recommend that anyone whose family member was killed in an industrial accident speak with an experienced personal injury attorney.”
LaGarde Law Firm, P.C
3000 Weslayan, Ste. 380
Houston, TX 77027
Phone: (713) 993-0660
Toll Free: 1-866-LAGARDE
LaGarde Law Firm, P.C.
Jason M. Welborn - Of Counsel
617 S. Buchanan Street
PO Box 2053
Lafayette, LA 70501
Phone: (337) 443-4100
Toll Free: 1-866-LAGARDE
- Promoting the Right to Trial by Jury
Mary Pat and I attended the American Board of Advocates’ national meeting in Naples, Florida. Our organization is developing new plans to teach students the importance of the 7th Amendment right to trial by jury.
- Injured pedestrian files lawsuit after being hit by Houston Chief of Police
In September of 2013, while driving a city-issued SUV, Houston Chief of Police Charles McClelland struck and injured a pedestrian who was legally crossing in a crosswalk in downtown Houston. The pedestrian, James Harris, spent a year negotiating with the city for a settlement. But Harris says that the city has yet to make a […]
- Economists Predict Recession for Houston
The Houston Business Journal reports that top economists believe Houston is headed for a recession as a result of declining oil prices. The report cites the last major drop in oil prices in 1986 which led to a regional recession in Texas. Read the full article here. >>
- 419 Lottery Players Join Lawsuit Against GTECH
Four hundred and nineteen lottery players joined an existing lawsuit filed by 520 plaintiffs against GTECH Corporation. In their First Amended Petition filed on January 23rd, the lottery players sued to collect their winnings from the controversial Texas Lottery’s Fun 5’s scratch-off game. The suit alleges that GTECH programmed its computers to reject winning tickets […]
- Oil and Gas Institute created at South Texas College of Law in Houston
The South Texas College of Law/Houston recently announced the launch of the Oil & Gas Law Institute. The goal of the program is to give students comprehensive training in oil and gas law, turning out practice-ready graduates with cutting-edge knowledge of the field. The Institute plans to ensure that graduates are practice-ready by making the […]