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Halliburton Oil Rig Disaster, and Cover-Up: Confidential Settlement

Jul 18, 2008

In 2008, we brought wrongful death and punitive damages claims against Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. and successfully settled with the oil and gas giant for a confidential amount. The Halliburton supervisor failed to chain down or otherwise secure a pipe, which was carrying cement under very high pressure. The cement pipe clogged in the cold weather, and when the pressure was released, the pipe shot out of the hole and whipped around the derrick floor, knocking a young man 35 feet off the derrick floor to his death. The Halliburton supervisor admitted that he had not slept in over 47 hours prior to taking on the job at this well site. We represented the young man's family, and we brought claims against Halliburton for intentional failure to enforce a fatigue prevention policy among its workers. After prevailing through years of expensive appeals brought by Halliburton, the court allowed us to review thousands of Halliburton employee's DOT logs, and we compared those to the hourly invoices Halliburton charged its clients, which revealed that Halliburton employees repeatedly falsified their DOT logs in order to appear more rested than they really were so they could work longer hours. The case settled soon after the widespread DOT log falsification was uncovered.

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