Gulf Platform Owner Sued Over Deadly 2012 Blast
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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Filipino worker who was severely burned in a deadly explosion on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico last year is suing the platform’s owner and operator.
Lawyers for Renato Dominguez, 53, filed the suit against Houston-based Black Elk Energy LLC on Oct. 16 in a county court in Galveston, Texas.
Dominguez was working as a pipefitter when the November 2012 explosion off the coast of Louisiana injured him and killed three other workers.
Dominguez’s attorneys said he has been permanently disfigured by burns on his face and most of his body.
The suit seeks unspecified damages against Black Elk and several other companies. It accuses them of failing to properly train and supervise workers or provide them with adequate safety equipment.
“Renato is seeking justice from the companies whose negligence forever changed his life,” Jason Itkin, one of his attorneys, said in a statement Wednesday. “The horror of this accident could have been prevented had the platform operators followed standard safety and workplace regulations.”
A Black Elk spokeswoman said the company doesn’t comment on pending litigation.
The fixed production platform where the explosion occurred is roughly 17 miles southeast of Grand Isle, in 52 feet of water. At the time of the explosion, a pipeline to the shore was being replaced.
In August, a consultant for Black Elk said in a report the explosion happened when workers for a subcontractor used unsafe welding practices.
A separate lawsuit, filed in March by relatives of two of the deceased workers, claims oil vapors ignited when workers cut into a pipe connected to tanks that should have been depressurized and purged before any construction work on the lines.
All three of the workers who died as a result of the explosion worked for Grand Isle Shipyard Inc.
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