Worker’s Comp. Law Rescinded After Oklahoma Oil Rig Explosion
Five oil rig workers from Red Mountain Operating were declared missing on January 22, 2018, after an explosion that occurred outside of Quinton, Oklahoma. Remains of the five workers were discovered near the collapsed rig the following day in a building that served as an office for the crew members. Three of these men were employees of the parent company, Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc., out of Houston, Texas.
On January 23, 2018, just one day after the fatal drilling rig explosion, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled oil and natural gas companies can now be sued when an employee is killed or injured while on the job. This is a monumental change from the state worker’s compensation law previously in place, which protected oil rig owners and operators from being sued by employees for workplace injuries and death.
In the case of Strickland v. Stephens Production Company, Judge Norma Gurich ruled that immunity to oil rig owners and operators was an impermissible and unconstitutional special law. The court stated there was no valid reason for this preferential treatment of the oil and gas industry.
The Potts Law Firm fervently represents families and victims of oilfield accidents and workplace injuries. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in an oilfield accident, you need an experienced oilfield injury lawyer to inform you of your rights before filing your claim. Learn more about your options after an oilfield injury by calling us toll free at (888) 420-1299, or click here to schedule your free consultation today.