Salem, WV: A gas well worker employed by J and A Service was injured after a high pressure airline ruptured at an Antero natural gas well site in Harrison County near Salem just before on Dog Run Road on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. The worker was injured when he was pressure testing a line containing compressed air.
The employee was knocked back 20 feet and struck his head on some materials. Gas well workers were preparing to put a well online when they performed a pressure test on the well, a standard procedure before moving into the production phase, when the test failed and caused a burst of gas to knock a worker back 20 feet. Firefighters said the worker was alert and talking with them when they arrived at the scene and was flown by helicopter to a local hospital, treated, and released. A company spokesman said that it appeared that part of the pipeline failed, and that the company has voluntarily halted all activity at the site.
Three other workers were injured, including a man who tried to leave the area following the burst of gas, and tripped and fell, causing him to knock out a few teeth. He was also treated and released, and the two other men were treated on site for minor injuries.
Legal Insight for Gas Well Injury Claims
West Virginia workers have had a long-standing tradition of persevering and working hard in spite of dangerous and exhausting conditions. As the oil and gas drilling industry grows, an increasing number of workers are experiencing accidents resulting in serious permanent injuries and wrongful death. Many injured workers think that their financial damages for medical bills and lost earnings are limited to West Virginia workers’ compensation benefits.
In most cases, a worker who is injured on the job will be able to receive some benefits from a Worker’s Compensation claim. In West Virginia, if employer is found to have intentionally placed their employee in harm’s way, resulting in serious injury or death, that employee may qualify to file a claim against the employer’s insurance company.
Workers’ compensation laws say that you cannot hold your employer accountable for damages above the amount of benefits paid by the workers’ comp insurance unless you can prove the employer acted with “deliberate intent.”
In many workplace injury and wrongful death cases, however, there may also be a third party who can be held liable for negligence. The third party can include the manufacturer of a piece of defective industrial equipment, the property owner or a subcontractor working on the same job site.
If you or your loved one has been injured due to negligence or willful violation of safety regulations in the workplace, it is important to act quickly to protect your claim. Mr. Robinette has handled hundreds of cases involving serious injury and wrongful death and can provide the insight you need right now. Call Jeff Robinette today for a free evaluation of your case at 304-594-1800 or after hours, 304-216-6695 or visit our website for more information.
We are glad to provide free books and information for WV accident victims: Collision Care: West Virginia Auto Collision Guide, and Righting the Wrong, West Virginia Serious Injury Guide: 304-594-1800.
Source: The Exponent-Telegram, “Gas Well Worker Remains in Morgantown Hospital,” by Darlene Taylor-Morgan, September 29, 2013, http://www.exponent-telegram.com/gas-well-worker-remains-in-morgantown-hospital/article_9455b840-295f-11e3-a2ab-001a4bcf887a.html