Stephen D., a young roustabout with a promising maritime career, was severely injured during a short-handed crane operation when working on Transocean's Deepwater Asgard. Transocean refused to continue paying after stating his ongoing medical bills were "too expensive." VB Attorneys stepped in and got Stephen the compensation he deserved for a career cut short.
Crane Operator Fails to Follow Safety Procedures
Our Jones Act client Stephen was doing the very heavy labor job of a roustabout aboard Transocean's Deepwater Asgard, a drillship in the Gulf of Mexico. He was contracted through Atlas Professionals, a staffing agency specializing in maritime recruitment and placement.
Our client was assigned to the 12-hour night shift. Between November 2019 and December 2020, he was tasked to work on numerous hitches for a total of 112 days at sea, all under the direct supervision and instruction of Transocean, 100% of the time.
On December 5, 2020, Stephen was assisting in a short-handed crane lifting operation in which he was required to lift and handle equipment collectively weighing over 200 pounds. This far exceeded Transocean's safe manual handling requirements and resulted in a lower back and groin injury.
Crane operators, in accordance with Transocean's safety regulations, are required to ensure that a minimum of three workers participate in a lifting job of that weight. The missing required banksman resulted in Stephen's injuries, through no fault of his own.
Stephen followed procedure and notified Transocean of his injuries verbally and in writing. Transocean acknowledged responsibility by paying maintenance back to the date of his injury, as well as bills for his two surgeries.
To date, our client has undergone hernia surgery, a lumbar spine decompression surgery, and needs a lumbar two-level fusion surgery.
While Transocean has paid for previous surgeries, they refused to pay over $175,000 in bills that remain as they deem them "too expensive." Transocean did not provide our client health insurance, leaving him to seek out medical care under the most expensive option of self-pay.
VB Attorneys Fights Against Transocean's History of Negligence
Transocean has failed on many accounts. Not only did they fail our client, but they refused to cooperate with the courts. They were ordered to produce Deepwater Asgard for inspection and produce certain employees and make them available for deposition. Failure to comply has left them with pending sanctions.
Stephen's remaining surgery comes in at a project cost of $460,000 and, according to his board-certified neurosurgeon, is critical to his well-being. The necessary surgeries also permanently preclude him from working in the maritime industry. Our client is permanently restricted to sedentary work.
Prior to working for Transocean, our client underwent rigorous screenings and examinations by Transocean doctors to ensure he was fit to work the demanding job. However, his body began to break down because he had to work so many short-handed lifting jobs during his 12-hour night shift employment. Transocean overworked Stephen to the point where he started treating with a chiropractor between hitches and suffered exhaustion aboard the Deepwater Asgard, cutting a hitch short. In May of 2022, he was hospitalized and taken off work aboard Transocean's Deepwater Poseidon for "tension headaches, nausea and vomiting." Ship doctors cleared him for heavy-duty after each health-related incident.
Stephen's medical history reveals a young man at his peak before working for Transocean. Post-injury records revealed a hernia on the right side, treatment with a neurosurgeon, multiple herniated discs, positive straight leg tests, radiculopathy, an annular tear, groin surgery, a low back decompression surgery, and pending two-level back surgery.
These injuries come at the cost of our client's future health and well-being. He will never be the same, and the work he loved is no longer an option.
Transocean refused to continue paying for our client's medical expenses, even though they had taken full responsibility. Board-certified personal injury lawyer and maritime law expert Vuk Vujasinovic battled Transocean and negotiated a big Jones Act settlement for Stephen and his family. Our maritime lawyers are proud to have helped our client find justice and secure the compensation he rightfully deserves.
All too often, we see big companies bully their workers into performing dangerous tasks just to save a buck. If you or a loved one has been injured working offshore, you need an experienced maritime lawyer on your side. If you want an entire team of people dedicated to winning your case, you need to call 877-724-7800 or click here to receive a free and confidential consultation.