June 4, 2014 — Jurors in Texas have awarded $1,375,000 to four electricians who suffered hypoxic brain injuries in an oil rig accident that occurred in 2012.
Valley Central reports that the accident occurred on the Sam Noble oil rig while it was dry docked in the Keppel Amfels shipyard in Brownsville, Texas.
The victims were four electricians were working in the engine room. At the same time, another crew was working on the fire-safety system. The crew flooded the engine room with carbon dioxide, much the same way that fire sprinklers flood a room with water. The crew did not follow safety protocols requiring them to clear the room before turning on the fire-safety system.
Within a matter of seconds, the electricians passed out due to lack of oxygen. They were not discovered until 15 minutes later, unconscious, foaming at the mouth, and convulsing.
Inspectors reviewed the accident and found that the carbon monoxide detector in the engine room hadn’t worked for two years.
Today, three of the men are able to return to work, although they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They all have brain damage that causes sleep problems, memory loss, and personality disorders.
The defendants in the lawsuit were Fire and Safety Specialists, Inc., Noble Drilling Services, Inc., and Keppel Amfels L.L.C. Jurors found that the companies were negligent for failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of workers on the oil rig.
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