“There was nothing being done, I couldn’t talk anybody or who I wanted to talk to—nothing was happening. It just seemed my whole life was in a tailspin, just out of control. There was completely no control whatsoever. My wife was really upset. At first, they told her I died, you know that took a lot. There was a lot going on. I really didn’t know where to go or what to do. There was no input, no help, and nothing going on.”
“In the beginning it was ok, but once the lawsuit came around, it was a totally different company. The wages were cut, threatening other things. They even had private investigators running by the house, following me—I didn’t feel safe anymore. I felt really like a victim on Transocean’s behalf.”
“By the time I came off the rig, for the first six months, I had migraines twice a day. I had chronic lower back pain. Both my shoulders ended up needing reconstructive surgery. My right shoulder ended with four wires, four pins, and a cracked collar bone. My left shoulder had bicep removal, parts of the bicep, bones gouged out. My back—I’ve had three or four procedures already. It just was a nightmare. It took a few months before I could get anyone to believe. It was Jason and Kurt that stepped up and got the ball rolling. I finally got an MRI, got to see a doctor, and get things moving.
When I came off the rig and was trying to seek help through Oceaneering, it was very difficult. The conversations on the phone, everything just didn’t seem to be in my best interests until I got Arnold & Itkin and then everything seemed to go in my direction. I was able to see doctors, I was able to confide in Arnold & Itkin and talk to them. As far as dealing with Oceaneering, it never happened. I was belittled, I was told I was ok. So Oceaneering really didn’t help me out until I made that phone call to Arnold & Itkin and that weight was lifted.”
“I was thinking that I needed a lawyer because I didn’t want to go back offshore. I didn’t know what to do anymore. I truly didn’t want to go back to work for this company and go offshore but that was my only option.”
“I decided to hire a lawyer because of Schuman who works for Transocean. They are like adjusters who limit the damage on Transocean. I felt like I was not being treated right. Basically, once I got off the rig I was being grilled by Schuman as far as anything being wrong with me, not being able to talk to anyone for help. They basically pulled me to the side and went at me to limit anything I could do against Transocean automatically. “
“I felt that the way I was being treated, in a sense, the lack of communication, they just wanted answers. They weren’t trying to be considerate of the things that were happening to me or going on with me. I consulted with Jason and we weighed the options and that’s why I hired them. I felt like they would be able to represent me well.”
“We got back, they gave us like two weeks off after they brought us to their doctors and stuff like that. After those two weeks, they would hound me and bug me to go back to work and what not. I told them I wanted to take a little extra time—the next thing I know I’m getting a pink slip in the mail saying they had fired me. After that, it was just me trying to dish it all out of pocket.”
“It was in October or September when they said they were going to discontinue paying us. Then I started thinking. At first, I thought Transocean was looking out for me and was the greatest company in the world, and they were going to let me get better before I wanted to go back to work—then I got that letter saying they were no longer going to pay me. That’s when I thought, I’m just a number to them, and they don’t care about me. I had to look out for myself, and that’s when I chose Arnold & Itkin. “
“As far I can remember, they just called and told us that we had a certain time if we were going to sue. They said they were going to take care of us but it turned around and all they wanted to do was just make sure they weren’t going to get sued. They just offered us a package, you know, of six months’ pay or a year of pay. Even then I was hurting—I couldn’t go back to work right then, I knew that. So I had to figure it out then. I had to find a good lawyer, somebody to help me because I knew they weren’t going to help me.”
“When I did try to go back offshore, I had a really bad time there. I realized at that point that I could not at that time go back offshore—still to this day I don’t know if I ever could. Then I really started thinking about, well I’m a chief engineer, what good is a chief engineer if I’m not offshore or on a rig? I started thinking well if I can’t do this, I’m no good to Transocean. If I’m no good to them, I’m not going to get a check from them. I started thinking long-term for me and my family, that’s when I started looking into lawyers on the internet and started talking to my friends. One of them recommended them, they said ‘Man you need to go talk to these two guys—they’re good people and just go see them.’ So I made an appointment with Kurt and Jason.
First time I met with them I came and sat down with them, they stayed until 8 or 9 o’clock at night—that was our first meeting because that was when I could actually come here. It was very pleasurable, they were very honorable people. You felt it when you walked in, it wasn’t an arrogance about them, it was just a homely ‘I’m here to help. What can I do to help?’ It just gave me a real calm feeling being in their presence. I just knew that they were good guys that could help me. I went home and talked to my wife about them, and she looked them up and such. I guess it was maybe a week later or so and we said ‘Look, we would like to sign up with you, but I would like for you to come meet my wife and for my wife to meet ya’ll.’ Jason said, ‘No problem’ and he hopped on a plane and showed up at the house a few days later. He sat down at the house with us and explained everything, the procedures and what they were they for and what to expect and such. My wife said ‘Oh yeah, I really like these guys, they’re good people,’ and that’s kind of what decided that we would go with Arnold & Itkin. It was the feeling that they give you inside that it’s going to be ok, that ‘We’re here to protect. We can protect you and we are going to’”