In a thrilling victory for offshore workers, Arnold & Itkin secured a $9 million verdict in a Jones Act case against Noble Energy, Inc. Our client was working on a drilling rig off the coast of Africa when a riser beam, which was secured to the deck, fell on him and injured his back and neck. The injuries required him to get neck fusion surgery, a costly and invasive procedure that will limit his mobility forever. Rather than offer support, Noble Energy insisted that our client caused his own injuries. For four years, they refused to take responsibility for an unsafe work environment, leaving our client without the resources he needed to recover.
The trial was truly a team effort for our firm. Attorney Caj Boatright led the jury-picking process, Attorney Ryan MacLeod delivered the opening statement and cross-examined the representative for Noble, then Attorneys Kyle Findley and Kala Sellers took the trial all the way to closing statements. In total, the trial spanned 2 weeks and included 12 witnesses.
After only five hours of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of $9,108,126.71. This Jones Act case was tried in the 164th Judicial District Court before the Honorable Caroline Baker.
Noble Energy Refuses to Take Responsibility
Noble Energy didn’t want to settle with our client or accept any responsibility for his medical care. To be clear, this is a company worth more than $10 billion. They have the resources to provide for our client’s needs for ten lifetimes but instead blamed him for his own injuries. They continued blaming him until the very end of the closing statements. That’s unacceptable.
Our Jones Act lawyers fought for this client not only because he deserved medical care and financial support, but also because the employees at Noble Energy, Inc. deserve a safer workplace. Hopefully, this verdict will make Noble more likely to do the right thing for their employees when they get hurt.
Arnold & Itkin is proud of this verdict, both for what it will provide for our client, and what it will mean for employees at Noble Energy for years to come.