Texas oil field worker awarded $9 million verdict in personal injury lawsuit against drilling company

by Jim Orr

A jury in Corpus Christi, Texas has awarded $9 million in damages in a personal injury lawsuit filed by an oil field worker who was seriously injured in a drilling accident. Michael Gilmore filed a lawsuit against Unit Drilling and other affiliated companies alleging that their negligent actions resulted in an accident that caused his hand to be crushed by drilling machinery.

According to the lawsuit, Gilmore was an employee of Accurate Valve Services, which was contracted by Unit Corporation, Unit Drilling Company, Unit Texas Drilling, and Blackbrush Oil & Gas. Accurate Valve Services had been hired replace seals on the door of a blowout preventer at a drilling site in Dilley, Texas.

In order to repair the doors on the blowout preventer, Gilmore was instructed to stand on a wooden surface that was lifted by a forklift. When the driver placed the forklift in reverse, it severed a cable that was supporting an industrial-sized metal pulley. The pulley fell on Gilmore’s right hand, crushing it and requiring emergency surgery. Gilmore alleges that as a result of the accident, he suffers from complex regional pain syndrome caused by the permanent injury to his hand.

Gilmore filed a personal injury lawsuit in Nueces County, Texas against Unit Corporation and the other defendant companies. The lawsuit alleged that Unit Drilling and its affiliates were negligent for failing to warn Gilmore about his potential risk of injury and failing to implement adequate safety measures or other precautions in order to prevent injuries from the forklift or the cable.

Following a three week jury trial, Gilmore was awarded a $9 million verdict against Unit Drilling and the three other defendant corporations. The verdict included $35,000 in damages for physical pain and mental anguish, $610,000 for lost earning capacity, $100,000 for disfigurement, $30,000 for physical impairment, and $250,000 for medical expenses. The jury also awarded punitive damages of $8 million against Unit Drilling, bringing the total damages award to more than $9 million.

Workplace Personal Injury Lawsuits Filed by Heygood, Orr & Pearson

Workers in Texas and other states have a right to be safe in their workplace. When companies fail to ensure that working conditions for their employees are safe, they can be held accountable for the injuries resulting from their negligence.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a workplace accident, you may qualify to file a personal injury lawsuit. The first step in finding out if you qualify to file a claim is to speak with an experienced attorney who can advise you of your legal rights and guide you through the first steps in taking legal action.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson, have handled hundreds of cases involving personal injury claims. Our law firm has the financial resources to handle personal injury cases – including those involving workplace accidents – from start to finish. In many instances, our firm has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in order to take a case to trial on behalf of our client. At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we are committed to achieving justice for our clients, whatever the cost.

If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a workplace accident—or if your friend or loved one was hurt or killed on the job—contact Heygood, Orr & Pearson to learn more about your legal rights. For a free legal consultation, please call us toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. You can also follow the link to our free case evaluation form and answer a few simple questions about your case to get started.

by Jim Orr

Jim Orr is a licensed attorney and a partner at HO&P focusing on business and personal injury litigation. Jim was selected multiple times to the Super Lawyers List and has tried 70+ cases to verdict.