Breaking News. According to a report from the McKenzie County, North Dakota Sheriff’s Department, a well site explosion and fire this weekend in western North Dakota killed Wyoming worker Johny Stassinos, and burned and seriously injured three others. The Sheriff’s statement said Wyoming worker Richard Maheu, of Rock Springs, Daniel Montes, of Fruita, Colorado, and Justin Pyle, of Grand Junction, Colorado, were also injured in the explosion and fire on Saturday near Watford City, North Dakota.
XTO Energy, the well-site operator, is a Houston-based subsidiary of ExxonMobil. Preliminary investigation has indicated that a breach in the gas pipe may have ignited. Although this is the first reported oilfield-related fatality in 2016, such incidents are not uncommon in the oilfields in North Dakota or Wyoming. As The Spence Law Firm reported in October of 2015, when oil companies’ profits fall, companies sometimes spend less to protect workers. Workers face additional concerns when the market is down: often contract workers are asked to work longer hours, they are provided less safety training, and less is spent on equipment and safety measures.
Workers injured in the oilfield have the right to recover for their injuries, often including medical bills, lost wages, future economic loss, pain and suffering damages, and potentially punitive damages to punish and deter wrongdoer’s conduct (depending on the state). The family of a worker killed in an incident like this one may recover damages for their economic loss and their non-economic loss of a loved one, often including loss of companionship, society, and comfort. When willful and wanton misconduct or some other high level of culpability is involved, a family may seek punitive damages to punish a defendant.
The Spence Law Firm has investigated and fought for workers injured and killed in industrial accidents and gas well explosions and fires for over 50 years. We have significant experience working with burn victims, and we have worked many times with leading industrial and oil and gas experts and medical specialists to help burn victims investigate fire and explosion accident and cope with serious burn injuries. In the past several years, our firm has taken on the biggest corporations in the oil and gas industry to fight for workers who were injured on the job: EnCana Oil & Gas; Shell; Chevron; BP; and Halliburton, just to name just a few.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a serious oil and gas explosion or fire or other industrial accident, The Spence Law Firm is here to answer your questions and assist you in any way we can. To learn more, please contact us today: 800-967-2117.