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Doyle LLP Files Lawsuit on Behalf of Pilot involved in Lake Accident

Doyle LLP has filed suit on behalf of a pilot who suffered a broken neck in a severe boating accident on Lake Travis. While the negligent boat driver was insured, the insurance company refused to provide full value for our client’s severe injuries. Instead, International Marine Underwriters attempted to minimize the accident and underpay the injured pilot stating that it was only a “minor broken neck.” On March 22, 2010, the case was assigned to a Harris County District Court and Doyle LLP looks forward to telling the injured pilot’s story to a jury of her peers

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Transocean Offshore Oil Rig, Deepwater Horizon, Explodes in the Gulf of Mexico

Over a hundred offshore oil rig workers are suffering from an enormous shock and tragedy today after an explosion at approximately 10:00 p.m. yesterday evening on the Deepwater Horizon, a deepwater offshore drilling platform about 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana in the Mississippi Canyon area of the Gulf of Mexico.

The Deepwater Horizon is owned by Transocean but was under contract to British oil major BP PLC. It had been in the Macondo prospect since January, though on April 16 BP had applied for a permit to temporarily abandon the well at the explosion site.

At present, it appears that several people have been critically injured from the blast and several more crew members are missing after having escaped the rig on a workboat. The rig continued to burn for several hours.

The Deepwater Horizon was is a semisubmersible floating drilling unit, which was made famous when it drilled down just over 35,000 feet at another BP site, setting a world deepwater record.

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Doyle Files Lawsuit On Behalf of Jones Act Seaman

On April 22, 2010, Doyle filed a lawsuit in Harris County district court against Kirby Inland Marine, LP on behalf of a tankerman injured in the Gulf of Mexico. Doyle’s client is a Jones Act seaman and the lawsuit is based on the well-settled law that Kirby Marine owed the seaman several duties which they failed to comply with. Notably, the injured Jones Act tankerman suffered a stroke but was denied appropriate medical care for many hours, in reckless disregard of the emergency situation of the offshore worker. The Defendant has compounded its decision to refuse to provide emergency medical care by also failing to meet the Jones Act requirement that the injured seaman be provided “maintenance and cure.” Doyle specializes in Jones Act and other Maritime cases and is proud to enforce this injured worker’s rights.

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Doyle featured in Today’s Houston Chronicle on the Transocean Deepwater Horizon Rig Explosion

Mike Doyle of Doyle was quoted in today’s Houston Chronicle article by Lise Olsen and Terri Langford on Gulf Accidents. The article addresses the long history of oil rig explosions in the Gulf of Mexico over the past several years. Often the maritime industry touts its safety record based on reported incidents, but many if not most incidents are unreported, and there is essentially no hands-on oversight of rig safety. These safety shortcomings can result in tragedy, as evidenced by the recent tragedy on the Deepwater Horizon, a Transocean and BP operation. As Mike Doyle was quoted, “There is a big difference between their actual incident/injury rate and their self-reported (rate).”The full text of the Chronicle article can be found at this link.

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The Value of Experienced Counsel Following Maritime Disasters

The recent explosion and subsequent sinking of the Deepwater Horizon, an offshore drilling platform owned and operated by Houston-based company Transocean, has left 11 oil rig workers missing and several more injured. As the families of those 11 workers continue to wait, the chances of rescue workers finding survivors are dwindling.

The injuries sustained in oil rig explosions can be horrible– and often fatal. At this point, responsibility becomes very important. Family members want to know what happened and why; their best asset in the search for answers is help from attorneys with experience in handling civil cases stemming from these offshore catastrophes.

The Search for Answers

Unfortunately, many oil rig explosions are preventable and investigation in civil suits reveals that they are usually caused by human error or administrative oversight.

This was the case in the explosion of the Piper Alpha, the deadliest oil rig explosion in history. Miscommunication, poor safety processes and inadequate fire walls contributed to the explosions and ensuing fire, which killed more than 160 men aboard the rig. This is a case with which
Mike Doyle

is intimately familiar, having served as an attorney for victim lawsuits following the Piper Alpha tragedy.

In 2008 six crewmembers aboard the Jillian Morrison were injured in an explosion that took place while the vessel was anchored off the coast of Louisiana. The Jillian Morrison is a dive support vessel, and the crewmembers had been working on a pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico . Doyle currently represents several of those who were injured in the blast.

Transocean is no stranger to lawsuits, having been sued in the past by several victims of oil rig accidents. Transocean’s location in Houston means that they are no stranger to Doyle, either: Maritime attorneys at the firm have worked on behalf of several of these victims, as well as others injured by oil rig operator negligence and other preventable mistakes

Trying to get the upper hand in litigation with victims, companies such as Transocean will often preemptively file suit against the victims, hoping to control the forum in which potential cases are tried. At least one lawsuit stemming from this accident has already been filed in Houston.

Next Step in the Process

Cases of this type are complex, and will require extensive preparation and investigation. Currently, the rig is still spilling oil into the Gulf; we would anticipate that, as soon as the situation had been stabilized, federal and state authorities — including the United States Coast Guard and the Minerals Management Service — will begin investigating the cause of the accident. Counsel for the injured workers and their families will play an integral role in this investigation. It is important that those who were injured in the blast or the families of those killed retain experienced counsel as soon as possible.

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