Claims: Jones Act/Maritime Law/Negligence/Unseaworthiness
Jury Verdict: $9.6 million (Court entered a judgment of $8.51 million after contributory negligence offset)
Following a September 2013 jury verdict of $9.6 million, the court entered a judgment of $8,512,068 for an injured offshore worker. The Supreme Court reversed the trial court’s judgment on March 2, 2018. Mr. Williams was employed by Diamond Offshore on th semi-submersible drilling vessel, OCEAN LEXINGTON, as a drilling worker in January 2008 when he was injured while offshore Egypt.
The plaintiff is a Mississippi resident and was working for the Houston-based Diamond Offshore Services as a mechanical supervisor. Mr. Williams claimed he was ordered to unsafely repair a set of elevators, used to lift pipe into the drilling operations, to avoid a shutdown of the drilling operations being conducted for BP. Mr. Williams claimed that Diamond Offshore’s failure to have sufficient elevator spares onboard, as well as its failure to properly maintain its equipment in a safe and seaworthy manner, created an unnecessary emergency situation and directly led to his career-ending back injury. The jury found that Diamond Offshore’s vessel was unseaworthy and that the company’s operational negligence was also responsible for Mr. Williams’ injuries.