Exploration Company Pays to Settle Claims of Platform Operator Alleging Back Injury During Offshore Swing Rope Transfer

Murphy Exploration Company, an operator of offshore platforms throughout the Gulf of Mexico, settled a lawsuit filed by Marc Walters, 36, a platform operator who alleged he was injured during a swing rope transfer from an offshore platform to a utility boat in inclement weather.

The incident occurred on June 10, 1998, on the MI 604 platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Mr. Walters underwent a fusion surgery several months after the incident. He incurred approximately $82,000 in medical bills. Mr. Walters was off work initially after the incident, returned to work, and then stopped working again shortly before the trial date. He asserted a claim for lost wages and loss of future earning capacity.

Vuk Vujasinovic prosecuted the negligence case against Murphy Exploration. Suit was filed in Harris County, Texas. It was alleged that the exploration company was negligent in requiring Mr. Walters to make the swing transfer in inclement weather. A marine safety expert was retained on behalf of Mr. Walters to address workplace safety issues, as well as an economist to address certain economic damages.

Murphy Exploration denied Mr. Walter’s allegations throughout the litigation, contending that he was negligent because he admitted it was his decision on whether, and when, to swing. In defending the case, the company retained its own safety expert, medical expert, and economist.

Mr. Vujasinovic negotiated the $745,000 settlement six weeks before trial. Attorney fees were $298,000 and litigation expenses were $60,000. Cause No. 2001-55218, Marc A. Walters vs. Murphy Exploration Co. et al., 165th Judicial District Court, Harris County, Texas.

 

$745,000 Settlement