Settlement ends trial in deadly 2012 oil platform fire

Kevin McGill, Associated Press

A settlement Monday brought an abrupt end to a complex trial combining 10 lawsuits arising from a deadly explosion and fire on an offshore oil platform in November 2012.

 

 

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A settlement Monday brought an abrupt end to a complex trial combining 10 lawsuits arising from a deadly explosion and fire on an offshore oil platform in November 2012.

The accident off the Louisiana coast killed three workers and injured several others on a platform owned by Texas-based Black Elk Energy.

Those involved in the cases included relatives of the workers killed, injured workers and companies that were working for Black Elk. Settlements on some of the claims and counterclaims were reached before and during the trial. The final settlement was announced Monday morning and a jury seated a week earlier was dismissed.

Charles Talley, attorney for Black Elk, and Frank Spagnoletti, representing some of the injured workers, said terms were confidential.

"Significant compensation was paid to those who went through an absolutely horrific and tragic accident," Spagnoletti said. "We're happy to have it resolved."

The platform was about 17 miles from Grand Isle, Louisiana, in about 50 feet of water. It was shut down for maintenance and was not producing oil at the time of the explosion on Nov. 16, 2012.

Three Filipino workers, Ellroy Corporal, Jerome Malagapo and Avelino Tajonera, died as a result of the accident.

In addition to the lawsuit, federal criminal charges were filed in the case. A January trial is currently scheduled in the criminal case, which includes involuntary manslaughter charges against Black Elk and another company, Grand Isle Shipyards. Both companies have pleaded not guilty.

 

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