This past Saturday, a 46-year-old welder got up to go to work on a pipeline outside of Stanton for Paschal Welding & Construction. Unfortunately, he would not return home that day. While working on construction and maintaining the pipeline, he was killed by a co-worker in a tragic oilfield accident. While no details have been released yet, what we do know is that the worker was killed when he was backed over by a maintainer truck.
The construction worker, though working on a Stanton pipeline, was from Yoakum six hours away. Blood samples have been taken from both the victim and the driver of the truck to test for drugs or alcohol. The presence of these substances, while not proof of liability, is certainly evidence pointing to who was more at fault. However, even if there was some fault on both sides, remember that Texas rules by comparative negligence.
That means even if the construction worker was 49% at fault, his family may be liable to receive 49% of the compensation he would have received himself for the accident. That’s in addition to a wrongful death claim, which may very well be applicable in this case. Until more details are released, it is unclear what could have led to this tragic oilfield accident—whether it was the fault of the two men, or the worksite's safety procedures.
All we know is that a man was killed in an industrial accident, an unfortunate and all-too-common story that our firm has heard countless times from countless families. Regardless of the cause, we know from experience that the majority of construction accidents are simply and tragically preventable. After countless cases dealing with this very thing, that’s perhaps the hardest truth our firm has had to present in court. Deaths of this nature are often avoidable, yet they continue to happen, much to our sadness, frustration, and genuine heartbreak.
Arnold & Itkin hopes the root cause of this man’s death is discovered, but more importantly that the loved ones of our Yoakum construction worker receive peace and comfort in the coming days.