Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Is $9.6 mil a record award?

Willie David Williams has been awarded a unanimous $9.6 million jury verdict against Diamond Offshore Services. Mr. Williams was employed by Diamond Offshore on a semi-submersible drilling vessel, OCEAN LEXINGTON, as a drilling worker in January 2008 when he was injured while offshore Egypt (Williams v. Diamond Offshore Services Limited, et al.; in the 164th District Court of Harris County, Texas; No. 2011-31922).

According to court documents, the plaintiff is a Mississippi resident and was working for the Houston-based Diamond Offshore Services as a mechanical supervisor. Mr. Williams claimed that he was ordered to unsafely repair a set of elevators, used to lift pipe into the drilling operations, to avoid a shutdown of the drilling operations being conducted for BP. Mr. Williams claimed that Diamond Offshore’s failure to have sufficient elevator spares onboard, as well as its failure to properly maintain its equipment in a safe and seaworthy manner, created an unnecessary emergency situation and directly led to his career-ending back injury. The jury found that Diamond Offshore’s vessel was unseaworthy and its operational negligence was also responsible for Mr. Williams’ injuries (Williams v. Diamond Offshore Services Limited, et al.; in the 164th District Court of Harris County, Texas; No. 2011-31922).

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