Two Gas Well Drilling Workers Treated for Burn Injuries after Antero Well Site Flash Fire

WEST UNION —  Two oil and gas workers were installing a new separator at the Jonathon Davis pad site when a condensate leak occurred which caused a flash fire, burning two workers.  The flash fire at an Antero Resources well site in Doddridge County WV which burned two workers occurred on Sunday, October 27, 2013. One worker received first degree burns to his arms and hands, the other second degree burns to his arm.

One worker was sent to United Hospital Center and the second was taken to West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh, PA where he underwent a skin graft surgery.  One worker has already returned to work, the other is expected to remain hospitalized throughout the week.

Inspectors are working to determine an ignition source for the flash fire. The well pad is located off of Ramsey’s Ridge Road near West Union. There are several wells drilled on the pad and at least two are producing.WV gas well explosion

The West Virginia Office of Oil and Gas cited Antero Resources in August 2013 for failing to maintain well control in connection with a July 7 well explosion at the New Milton, Doddridge County Ruddy Alt well pad. Five men received severe burns in that gas well explosion and two of the men later died as a result of their injuries.

The Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, West Virginia Workplace Injury Attorneys 

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 us today for a free evaluation of your case at 304-594-1800 or after hours, 304-216-6695 or visit the Marcellus Shale Work Injury page on our website today.

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Source:  WBOY News.  “Antero Employee at PA Burn Center After Fire at West Union Well Site” By Kim Freda, http://www.wboy.com/story/23810159/antero-employee-at-pa-burn-center-after-fire-at-west-union-well-site, October 29, 2013.

Ruptured Airline Injures Gas Well Worker in Harrison County WV

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.  A team of experienced gas well injury attorneys helped this worker receive just compensation for all of his pain, suffering, and the lifetime effect of these injuries.

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.

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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

Gas Well Fire in Doddridge County WV Legal Insight

On Sunday July 7th, 2013,  Antero officials reported five workers were injured in a gas well pad explosion at about 4:00 a.m. at a Doddridge County, WV gas drilling site off Brushy Fork Road near New Milton, WV.  The five men were taken to the West Penn Burn Center and are being treated for various degrees of burns.  Regular operations have been shut down at the Antero Resources well site after the two explosions on Sunday morning.  Most of the injured are in severe critical condition and some have required surgery.

The men who suffered burn injuries were working for contracting companies — three men from Nabors Completion and Production Service, one from C and R Downhole Drilling LLC, and a worker who is employed by Willowbend Investments Incorporated.  The identities of the men and their conditions have not been released.  Antero operates 15 drilling sites in seven counties in West Virginia.  This is the second explosion at an Antero site within a year in West Virginia.  Two deaths resulted from this tragic incident.Gas Well Fire Doddridge County WV

Right now investigators believe a pump which the employees were working on may have ignited gas vapors which caused an explosion, causing two tanks to rupture and causing damage to other tanks.  The diesel engine pump, which had malfunctioned, was being used to push data logging equipment down into the horizontal wellbore, which had been drilled and hydraulically fractured, by pumping fluid behind it.  The well had been drilled recently, and the crew was in the final stages of completing the well.  Workers were inserting a narrow production tube into the metal casing around the drilled hole when methane gas somehow ignited.  Investigators have not ruled out the possibility that fumes that had volatilized and accumulated inside the tanks and exploded.

The fluid that was contained in two tanks next to the pump was “produced water” which is a fluid that comes back up from wells which may contain explosive volatile organic compounds.  DEP spokeswoman said Monday the blast ruptured two tanks containing flow back water that Antero had been reusing, but the secondary containment system captured the fluid as designed and none left the site. There was no contamination to any nearby streams, she said, and the nearest home is about a half-mile away so it was unaffected.

Legal Insight You Need for Your Gas Well Injury Claim


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.

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.

Many injured workers think that their financial damages for medical bills and lost earnings are limited to West Virginia workers’ compensation benefits.

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,” as provided in W. Va. Code 23-4-2.

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.

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For More Information:  WBOY news, July 8th, 2013:  http://www.wboy.com/story/22776291/gas-well-workers-injured-in-explosion#.Udq5ObZMY_0.twitter

West Virginia State Journal, July 8th, 2013:  http://www.statejournal.com/story/22782306/basic-details-still-coming-in-on-sunday-antero-wellpad-explosion

Gas Well Flash Fire in Tyler County, WV

Compressor-Fire-1-650x350Authorities are investigating the cause of an explosion at a gas well compression station site in Tyler County.  The Twin Hickories Road compression station explosion happened on Thursday, April 11, 2013 in Wick near Middlebourne.  The facility is owned by Marietta, Ohio based Eureka-Hunter.  Three people employed by third-party contractors suffered severe burns and were flown directly to the West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh.  A fourth employee was injured, but treated and released at a local hospital.

Later, Eureka officials corrected initial reports.  The senior vice president of Eureka Hunter clarified the reported explosion was a flash fire, and the location was a pig receiving station along the pipeline, not a compression station as first reported.  The “pig” is a device to clean out pipelines to remove accumulated liquids.  This particular line carried methane as well as natural gas liquids such as ethane, propane and butane from the wellhead.

At about 7 p.m. on April 11th, Tyler County 911 received a call from a Eureka Hunter employee of an explosion with storage tanks on fire and at least two people injured at the Twin Hickories Road compression station near Wick, W.Va.

Fire and emergency responders were sent to the scene along with the Tyler County Sheriff Deputies. According to a press release, fire units from Shirley, Alma, Middlebourne, Sistersville as well as Saint Mary’s from Pleasants County and Paden City from Wetzel County responded.

Two Tanks on Fire near Tyler County Compression Station

“When we arrived on scene we had a track-hoe on fire and two tanks were on fire,” said a member of the Middlebourne VFD. “This was not a well, this was a compressor station.”

It was reported the workers were using a new piece of equipment to “pig” the line. However, it’s unclear what caused the fire. The blaze was intense and rekindled several times due to the heat. He said firemen took more than an hour to get it out.  Early reports indicated the natural gas liquids in the tanks fueled the fire.  The fire remained above ground and did not progress to the underground pipe lines.

“We went in and shut the valves off feeding the tanks. What was burning was what was in the tanks on top. It was very flammable,” he said. “It kept reigniting and burning off. We climbed on the tank, shut the lid, and put it out.”

West Virginia Gas Drilling Injury Lawyers – Robinette Legal Group, PLLC

The development of the Marcellus Shale oil and gas drilling in West Virginia provides many jobs to hard-working West Virginians.  West Virginia workers have a long-standing tradition of working hard in spite of dangerous and exhausting conditions.

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. If the cause of your injury was due to faulty equipment or a negligent contractor, you may be entitled to seek additional monetary compensation from that third party.

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 Robinette Legal Group, PLLC website:  http://www.robinettelaw.com

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Sources:

http://wvmetronews.com/three-burned-in-compressor-fire/  WV MetroNews, by Chris Lawrence, April 12, 2013

http://www.mariettatimes.com/page/content.detail/id/551182/-Flash-fire–in-Tyler-Co–investigated.html?nav=5002

Does it Matter if I Wait to Contact a Lawyer?

gavel and clockDoes it really matter if I wait to contact a lawyer about my wrongful death claim?

If you think that waiting a few months to speak with a lawyer won’t impact your wrongful death claim, think again.  Every day that you wait to seek legal counsel equates to a loss of opportunity to obtain full compensation for your injuries. In reality, it is the first 30 days following the fatal injuries to your deceased family member that are most critical to your case.

It is within this relatively short time period that initial inspections should be completed and necessary evidence and testimony secured. It is always best if a lawyer is consulted within the first few days following the tragic event, because certain evidence won’t last even 30 days. If you wait too long to develop your wrongful death claim, it will make the job of even a good lawyer more difficult to obtain a full recovery for the estate.

Waiting even a few weeks to get legal advice about your case may be just enough time for evidence to be lost or destroyed or an important witness to disappear.  Loss of vital evidence and witness testimony will cause permanent shortcomings in your wrongful death case.    Without evidence you have no way of proving liability against the responsible parties who caused the death of your family member.

You don’t know if or when your evidence will disappear or be destroyed. An important witness to your case will not likely call you up and give you their testimony and forwarding address before they skip town. When they skip town, there goes your evidence, too. And that documentary evidence — the tangible information like records and parts — you need to prove your case can disappear. Nobody is going to alert you to that either.

Also, please keep in mind that West Virginia allows only two years to file suit after the occurrence.  After this time, your claim will be forever barred.

It doesn’t matter if your evidence is accidently lost or intentionally destroyed; both have the same adverse impact on your fatal injury claim.  All these things happen without you knowing it — these are some of the legal ramifications of waiting too long to get legal counsel.  You don’t have to end up being further harmed — you can exercise your right to consult with your own lawyer about your injury claim today.

For further information about moving forward after a tragic, unexpected death, we offer a free resource for you to help guide you through the process of moving forward with your lives.  Click this link to gain the insight you need today:  Beside Still Waters:  West Virginia Fatal Injury Guide.Beside_Still_Waters_-_Covers_3D

No words or amount of remuneration could ever compensate all that you have lost when your loved one is taken from you.  As you move forward with your life, those who are responsible must be held accountable to give you a sense of justice and closure.  Jeff Robinette and his staff are available to answer your questions.  Every call is handled with compassion, and every case is handled with dignity and professionalism.

Call The Robinette Legal Group, PLLC today:  304-216-6695. You can also find Jeffery Robinette on Google+

Natural Gas Well Worker killed in Explosion in WV

WV gas well explosionA worker was killed in West Virginia in an explosion at an EQT natural gas well pad near Flemington in Taylor County on February 15, 2013.

The victim of this worksite accident was an employee of Central Environmental Services, a contracting company working for EQT. He was working alone at the time of his death.

The development of the Marcellus Shale oil and gas drilling in West Virginia provides many jobs, especially near Morgantown and Fairmont, WV.  Just as our coal miners have always faced hazardous conditions, the hard working men and women employed by the natural gas industry are now facing similar dangers.

Central Environmental Services CEO released a statement on the death of their employee.  The employee was at a customer’s well-pad near Flemington in Taylor County, W.Va, preparing to perform normal work-related tasks when an explosion occurred, killing the employee and causing some damage to the area where he was working.”  Company officials said the employee was on the work site and near two of the tanks when the explosion took place.

The man was attempting to transfer briny wastewater from a tank into a truck. What sparked the explosion is unclear and will be the focus of the state’s investigation, already under way.

Drillers inject massive volumes of water, sand and chemicals to hydraulically fracture, or frack, the rock in which gas deposits are trapped. The gas then flows up for collection, as does the brine. The DEP says some of the chemicals in the brine could be flammable.

The executive director of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association said EQT is calling the fatality an “industrial accident,” not an explosion, and he’s never heard of brine exploding.

“To the best of my knowledge, brine is not flammable,” he said. Accidents involving brine are typically spills, he said, “so that, I don’t understand.  Brine is 99.5 percent water and sand, and drillers typically do not add potentially flammable chemicals. What flows back up from a well is mostly salty water, and any chemicals are diluted.  Contrary to what some people like to say,” he said, “we don’t use diesel fuel or any of those kinds of additives that would be flammable.”

But a spokesman of the West Virginia Surface Owners’ Rights Organization said the fracking fluid often contains volatile organic compounds, “so brine tanks can have vapors of these that are surely explosive.  Many people who live near well pads are worried about those compounds being vented into the atmosphere and harming air quality.”

West Virginia Workplace Accidents

West Virginia workers have a long-standing tradition of working hard in spite of dangerous and exhausting conditions. Just as our coal miners have always faced the potential of industrial tragedies, oil and gas drilling workers are also experiencing similar tragedies resulting in serious permanent and fatal injuries. Injuries common to the oil and gas industry include severed fingers, broken bones, foot injuries, burns, toxic chemical exposure, disfigurement, and traumatic brain injuries.

Risk factors for oil and gas workers may include: explosion, work place injuries, truck accidents, serious and catastrophic injuries, exposure to hazardous chemicals, industrial accidents involving heavy tools and complex equipment, contaminated air and water, hazardous driving conditions, fires, burns, malfunctioning equipment, and safety violations. Driving to and from the drilling site has become a major risk factor: one-third of all serious accidents and fatalities linked to fracking occur from trucking accidents.

Another recent example of the danger associated with gas and oil drilling occurred in an August 17, 2012 accident when a newly developed gas well exploded in Harrison County, WV, sending three workers to the hospital with severe injuries.

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 at the Robinette Legal Group 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.

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Source:  Associated Press, Vickie Smith, on Monday, 18 February 2013, http://pipeline.post-gazette.com/news/archives/25054-worker-killed-in-blast-at-w-va-gas-well-pad

Injured in WV? Get the Facts.

Free Books for WV Accident Victims:

Beside Still WatersRighting the WrongsCollision Care

Click on book image for immediate download, or if you are a WV injury victim, call 1-304-594-1800 or email our office today to have a soft cover book sent to your home at no cost or obligation to you.

Collision Care: A Guide for West Virginia Accident Victims will give you the basic facts that you must know in order to make the best decisions for your present and future circumstances and to help you achieve the best result possible regarding your injury claim. (87 pages)

Righting the Wrong: West Virginia Serious Injury Guide provides serious injury victims and their families essential information about the insurance claims process to enable them to maximize their efforts to rebuild their lives. (161 pages)

Beside Still Waters: West Virginia Fatal Injury Guide provides surviving family members the information they need in order to pick up the pieces of their lives to enable them to rebuild a financial future for themselves and their children. (123 pages)

Click on a book cover image for a free immediate download, or if you are an injury victim or family member, call our office today to have a soft cover copy sent to your home. Due to limited availability, there is a limit of one book per family.

All of these books can also be purchased on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble for $16.95 each, plus shipping, but if you act now, Jeff will send it to you at No Cost or obligation.

Some of the useful information you will find in these books:

  • What Are My Legal Rights?
  • What Is Legal Liability?
  • What Is Comparative Fault? What happens if we were both at fault?
  • How Do I Prove My Claim? What documentation must I provide?
  • For What Damages May I Receive Compensation?
  • Do I Really Need A Lawyer? How to choose the right lawyer for your case.
  • Can I Afford A Lawyer?
  • Financial Motivation Of The Insurance Company – to minimize their pay-outs and maximize their own profit.
  • What is a wrongful death?
  • Statements and Authorizations – Think twice and get advice before you sign that release!
  • Social Media Traps and insurance company surveillance of your activities.
  • Spoliation of Evidence , vehicle salvage issues.
  • And much, much more!

Bonus Information: The Anatomy of a Real-life Injury Case and 10 Ways to Ruin Your Case

Our Mission
Morgantown lawyer and principal attorney, Jeff Robinette, shares what he believes is the mission of the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC. The primary objective of a personal injury law firm is to help the average person who has been the victim of negligence against the powerful resources of the insurance industry.

About the Author:

Jeffery L RobinetteJeffery Robinette is a personal injury lawyer with decades of insurance litigation and trial experience in personal injury and wrongful death claims. Prior to representing injured individuals exclusively, Mr. Robinette was a partner in a major West Virginia law firm where he focused his legal practice on defending serious personal injury and wrongful death claims and lawsuits stemming from auto and truck collisions. He has also represented the nation’s largest and most powerful insurance companies at all levels of litigation including jury trials and appeals in state and federal courts in West Virginia.

Mr. Robinette taught insurance companies and their adjusters how to follow insurance laws and regulations, including how to adjust insurance claims in good faith. He was a frequent speaker at insurance conferences on West Virginia insurance law.

Submitted by the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, West Virginia Injury Lawyers.  Call us today: 304-216-6695 or 304-594-1800.  We are glad to answer your questions.

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Wife of Gas Drilling Worker Sues for Wrongful Death

Fracking rigThe wife of a Weston man killed in fatal crash in Monongalia County is suing for wrongful death.  This woman’s husband was killed last July when he and a coworker were ejected from their vehicle.  Now his widow is suing her husband’s employer, Nabors Well Services for negligence and wrongful death.

She said Nabors knew her husband and coworker had worked more than 30 hours in a 48-hour span.  The wife of the deceased is also is suing the driver of the vehicle for negligence causing wrongful death.  The driver of the vehicle suffered minor injuries.  Federal laws regulate how many miles a truck driver can travel per day, per week and on consecutive days. All too often, however, truck drivers push these limits to increase profits or because they are pressured by their employers.

The Nabors companies own and operate approximately 521 land drilling and approximately 607 land workover and well-servicing rigs in North America.  Nabors Industries is an  oilfield service company involved in every phase of oil and gas drilling and production.  Nabors advertises that they promote safety in the workplace and full compliance with the laws and regulations of the countries in which it operates.

Gas Well Drilling Operations are riddled with risks to Workers:

Oil and gas workers face many risks inherent to their job which may include: explosions, work place injuries, truck accidents, serious and catastrophic injuries, exposure to hazardous chemicals, industrial accidents involving heavy tools and complex equipment, contaminated air and water, hazardous driving conditions, fires, burns, malfunctioning equipment, and safety violations. Driving to and from the drilling site has become a major risk factor: one-third of all serious accidents and fatalities linked to fracking occur from trucking accidents.

Giving the many dangers, some of which may be unmanageable by these companies, greatest attention needs to be giving to ensuring that safety regulations are consistently followed to maximize safety for their employees.

Hazards of Drowsy Driving

Drowsy driving (driving 30 hours in 48 definitely qualifies) is a known hazard and is preventable.  We all know how dangerous driving under the influence or texting while driving is, but driving while drowsy can be equally dangerous. Sleepiness can cause slower reaction times, blurred vision, lapses in judgment, and delays in processing information.

No employee should be put in a position of driving with such sleep deprivation which causes his reaction ability to be about equal with a person who is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Individual people are irreplaceable to their families and loved ones, but the rest of the family will need to attempt to build a new life without the love and financial support of this accident victim.  This wife was correct in filing a wrongful death suit.  Companies must be held accountable for maintaining as safe as possible work environments for their employees and should be heavily penalized when they don’t.

Submitted by the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, West Virginia Injury Lawyers. Free books for WV accident victims — Call us today: 304-216-6695 or 304-594-1800 for your free copy of Righting the Wrong: WV Serious Injury Guide; Collision Care: WV Auto Injury Guide; or Beside Still Waters: WV Fatal Injury Guide for Families. We are glad to answer your questions.

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Bangladesh’s Story Was Our Story – and we still have a long way to go…

 We have one hundred years’ worth of laws to protect laborers and punish wrongdoers, but we still have much to learn about ensuring that those who labor for our benefit are treated with justice.  In the early years of manufacturing in the US, we were dealing with the same issues as Bangladesh, India, and China.  More recently, the Upper Big Branch Coal Mine and Sago Coal Mine disasters illustrate the continued need for integrity in safety compliance and inspections to prevent the untimely deaths of people who are simply trying to earn a living.  The natural gas drilling industry is now working on regulating and inspecting its worksites for safety issues to minimize the hazards of this dangerous work.  Unscrupulous companies that seek maximum profits by ignoring safety concerns must be held accountable.

Concerning the UBB Coal Mine explosion,  federal documents state that the Massey Energy subsidiary mines in Nicholas County routinely violated health and safety laws “because of a belief that consistently following those laws would decrease coal production.”  David C. Hughart, the fourth Massey official facing criminal charges, will plead guilty to a felony count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and a misdemeanor charge of conspiracy. He faces up to six years in prison.

Workplace personal injury and wrongful death lawyers are dedicated to ensuring that business owners maintain OSHA’s high standards for workplace safety, and ensure that if they do attempt to skirt compliance, they suffer great punitive damages.  Unfortunately, the fear of lawsuits is sometimes the only motivator for companies to maintain safety standards for their employees.

A scenario almost identical to the Tazreen Fashion Factory disaster in Bangladesh occurred in 1911 in New York City. The infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire became the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of New York, and became the catalyst for true reform in New York State labor law.  The facts of this disaster were nearly identical to those of the recent fire in Dhaka where three company officials have been taken into custody and face criminal charges for locking the exit doors while employees were working. 

As we shop for Christmas gifts and seek the bargains, maybe we should consider why an object is so very cheap.  To make a difference on a personal level, we can investigate online where some of our goods are manufactured and avoid brands which are known to use sweatshop labor.   

Submitted by the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, West Virginia Workplace Injury/Wrongful Death Lawyers. Call us today: 304-216-6695 or 304-594-1800 for your free copy of Righting the Wrong: WV Serious Injury Guide.

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Explosion at Harrison County Gas Well Drilling Site

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — A spark from a natural gas drilling operation in north-central West Virginia ignited methane gas several hundred feet underground early Friday, sending up a fireball and triggering a blaze that officials said burned for about an hour on the floor of the rig.

Three workers were injured, two seriously enough to be airlifted to a hospital after the fire at the Antero Resources site near Sycamore in Harrison County. The fire was quickly extinguished and the well pad was in a rural area, so it posed no danger to the public.

Two victims were flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown.  A third was transported by ambulance.

Their conditions weren’t immediately available, but state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman said one had returned to the job site by 9 a.m.

Workers were in the early stages of drilling a Marcellus shale gas well. The drill was about 400 feet deep when they began to withdraw it, creating a spark that ignited the methane. That created more of a fireball than an explosion, he said.

The accident happened at the Cottrill No. 3 well on Antero’s Southern pad, and the crew doing the work was with Hall Drilling LLC of Ellenboro.

Neither Hall Drilling nor Colorado-based Antero immediately returned messages Friday.

Antero voluntarily shut down the operation, and a DEP investigation is under way.

Legal Insight You Need for Your Gas Well Injury Claim

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.

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.

Many injured workers think that their financial damages for medical bills and lost earnings are limited to West Virginia workers’ compensation benefits.

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,” as provided in W. Va. Code 23-4-2.

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:  Pipeline, ” Three Hurt in WV Gas Line Explosion,” http://shale.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/news/archives/24751-three-hurt-in-wva-gas-well-explosion, August 17, 2012

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