Today, AI filed a new Jones Act claim against Noble Corporation, Shell Oil Company, and subsidiaries for their role in leaving 142 men stranded aboard the Globetrotter II during Hurricane Ida. We filed the claim on behalf of six crew members who were injured and traumatized by their experience at sea. This follows the claim we filed last week for the same incident.
Two weeks ago, the drillship Globetrotter II was working in the Gulf of Mexico, owned by Noble Corporation but leased by Shell Oil. Despite advanced warning that the ship was in Hurricane Ida’s path, the crew was directed to keep working until the morning that the hurricane was descending upon them. This decision was grossly negligent. At that time, it was clear that Ida was going to be an extremely powerful hurricane. Other companies had already evacuated. Noble had evacuated the Globetrotter II’s sister vessel a day earlier.
Hurricane Ida made landfall on August 29. It ended up becoming one of the largest hurricanes to ever strike the United States, with winds up to 150 mph producing swells up to 80 feet in height. Rather than getting out of the way, the defendants unlatched and steered within 10 miles of the storm’s most severe part.
As a result, the Globetrotter II swayed side-to-side with such severity that it nearly capsized several times, tossing the crew into the walls. The swaying was severe enough that the crew were forced to walk on the walls to get around. The entire crew, made of experienced seamen, believed they were going to die.
Lifelong Harm Left Behind by Hurricane Ida
Our clients spent over a day trapped in a storm believing they were going to die at sea. They were battered and thrown about by massive waves and howling winds, hurting their necks, backs, shoulders, and more. They suffered and will continue to suffer from anxiety, scattered focus, and other consequences of trauma.
“It’s terrifying to be abandoned at sea in a hurricane while facing a brutal life or death survival ordeal for hours,” says Attorney Kurt Arnold. “Each summer we’re seeing more cases like this. Big energy companies are willing to sacrifice their crews to the life-threatening horrors of a hurricane just so they don’t lose a couple of extra days of drilling.”
For all of these things and more, Attorneys Kurt Arnold, Kyle Findley, and John Grinnan have filed a new Jones Act claim against the defendants. It was their responsibility to avoid decisions that put the crew in peril, heed the National Hurricane Center warnings, and ensure the Globetrotter II remained seaworthy.
They failed on all of these counts.
Now, we look forward to ensuring our six clients get what they need to rebuild their lives. No matter what.