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Our lawyers have extensive trial experience and training on how to present cases to a jury, win, and keep fighting to prevail on appeal. Our lawyers do not buckle under the pressure to settle from insurance companies, drilling companies, dredge companies, aviation companies, or other big business, and are not afraid to take your case to trial to seek full compensation for injuries suffered offshore, due to the bad faith of a workers’ compensation insurer or hurricane insurer, or as a result of negligence. Please contact us, if we can help.

$7.86 Million

$7.86 Million – Gillies V. Valaris PLC

Claims: Jones Act/Maritime Law

Jury Verdict: $7.86 million – Gillies v. Valaris PLC

On January 12, 2022, Doyle Dennis Avery LLP secured a $7.86 million verdict on behalf of Gordon Gillies, a drill ship operations adviser, who was injured while working on a vessel in the Gulf of Mexico.

Mr. Gillies brought claims for negligence against Valaris PLC (formerly Ensco/Rowan Drilling) and for unseaworthiness of its vessel, the drillship DS-15.  At trial, the jury determined that Valaris failed to maintain a stair case from the derrick elevator down to the “deadman” deck of the vessel.  Specifically, the second step on the stair case lacked a protective bullnose – an important safety guard at the end of each step. As a result of this defect, Mr. Gillies fell and suffered injuries to his tail bone, back, and spine.

After hearing four days of testimony and argument in the 270th District Court of Harris County, the jury attributed 90% of the negligence that caused the client’s injuries to Valaris and only 10% to the client. Even more telling, the jury attributed 99% of the unseaworthiness of the ship to Valaris and only 1% to the client.

Ultimately, the jury agreed with Doyle Dennis Avery LLP and found that Valaris was negligent in creating the dangerous conditions on the ship. The jury awarded $1,821,000 in past damages (including pain, mental anguish, loss of earning capacity, disfigurement, impairment, and medical care) and $6,040,000 in future damages (including pain, mental anguish, loss of earning capacity, impairment, and medical care).


$350,000 – Deaver V. Noble Drilling (US) LLC

Claims: Jones Act/Maintenance and Cure/Unseaworthiness

Jury Verdict: $350,000.00 ($340,500.00 after contributory negligence offset; judgment not yet entered).

On June 15, 2018, a Harris County District Court Jury (Houston, Texas) found that Noble Drilling (US) LLC provided an unseaworthy vessel that caused injuries to Nathan Deaver. The jury also found that Noble unreasonably and callously failed to provide Mr. Deaver with maintenance and cure benefits. Michael Patrick Doyle, Patrick Dennis, and Jeffrey Avery of Doyle Dennis Avery LLP represented Mr. Deaver as trial counsel.
The plaintiff is a Texas resident who worked as a floor hand on the drillship the M/V Noble Tom Madden – a vessel owned and operated by the Houston-based Noble Drilling. In more detail, Mr. Deaver claimed that Noble failed to provide a vessel with a properly manned and experienced crew, and that Noble also failed to provide proper safety instructions related to his work in the shaker room aboard the vessel. Despite repeated requests to Noble by Mr. Deaver, Noble failed to provide Mr. Deaver with the necessary staffing and caused Mr. Deaver to suffer injury to his ankle, heel, and foot.
Based on this conduct, the jury found that M/V Tom Madden was unseaworthy and that Noble was responsible for Mr. Deaver’s injuries.


Williams V. Diamond Offshore Services Limited

Claims: Jones Act/Maritime Law/Negligence/Unseaworthiness

Jury Verdict: The verdict was reversed at the Texas Supreme Court based upon a ruling precluding evidence of video surveillance of the Plaintiff. As such, no recovery has been made by the client to date. And no attorney’s fees or expenses have been collected.

Following a September 2013 jury verdict o, the court entered a judgment 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 the semi-submersible drilling vessel, OCEAN LEXINGTON, as a drilling worker in January 2008 when he was injured while offshore in 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.

$2.16 Million

$2.16 Million – Pace V. Houston Helicopters, Inc.

Claims: General Maritime Law/Negligence

Jury Verdict: $2.16 million (Attorneys Fees: $820,000; Expenses: $117,502.70; injury – lumbar injuries requiring surgery and post traumatic stress disorder).

Melvin Pace, a roustabout, working on an offshore oil production platform in the Gulf of Mexico was injured when the helicopter, a Sikorsky 76, transporting him and a crew back to shore caught fire and violently crashed into the Gulf of Mexico. The owner and operator of the helicopter, Houston Helicopters, had failed to adequately maintain the helicopter, including fixing a significant oil leak, which caused the fire. To add insult to injury, the helicopter was not equipped with proper life vests and Houston Helicopters failed to notify the Coast Guard of the crash for nearly seven hours. As a result, Mr. Pace and the other passengers were forced to remain in the Gulf of Mexico for hours until they were rescued. Once home, Mr. Pace underwent surgical treatment to his lower back. In February 2008, a Brazoria County jury awarded $2.16 million in damages.

$2.14 Million

$2.14 Million – Pike V. SeaRiver Maritime, Inc.

Claims: Jones Act/Negligence/Unseaworthiness

Jury Verdict: $2.56 million (Reduced on appeal to $2,141,716.75 – Attorneys Fees: $936,772.52; Expenses: $77,625.97; injury – unoperated cervical herniation and leg lacerations).

When a major U.S. shipping company refused to honor its responsibilities to a long-time employee who suffered career-ending injuries as a result of a fall on a tanker in the Gulf of Alaska, Doyle Dennis Avery LLP took the case to trial. A Texas jury returned a verdict for Doyle Dennis Avery LLP’ client of over $2.56 million.

$1.75 Million

$1.75 Million – Roberts V. Rigdon Marine

Claims: Jones Act/Negligence/Unseaworthiness

Jury Verdict: $1.5 million, increased to $1,752,767.44 with interest (Attorneys Fees: $788,745.35; Expenses $49,603.52; injury – unoperated spinal injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder).

After a Supply Ship Captain was viciously attacked by an unruly and inadequate crew off the coast of Africa, a major U.S. shipping company refused to honor its responsibilities to its employee who was suffering back, neck, head, and psychological problems as a result of the attack. A Texas jury returned a verdict in August 2007 for Doyle Dennis Avery LLP’ client of $1,505,000, which was more than ten times the highest settlement offer of the shipping company.

$1.6 Million

$1.6 Million – Darold Burch V. Westerngeco Resources (Schlumberger)

Claims: Jones Act/Negligence/Unseaworthiness

Jury Verdict: $1.6 million (Attorneys Fees: $472,500; Expenses $61,135.03; injury – cervical injuries requiring surgery and unoperated shoulder injuries).

Darold Burch had a long and successful career as a seismic gun mechanic, but was injured severely when he struck his head on an improperly placed beam in his work area. The beam was placed too low across the slipway area of the gun deck on the seismic survey vessel WESTERN PRIDE. Burch began to experience severe post-traumatic headaches after the incident, and ultimately was diagnosed with multiple cervical disc injuries that required surgical repair. Westerngeco blamed Mr. Burch for the incident, but a Houston jury disagreed and returned a verdict in December 2007 against the Schlumberger subsidiary for $1.6 million in damages in the 270th District Court of Harris County, Houston, Texas.

$4.5 Million

$4.5 Million – Norfleet V. Chemikalien Seetransport And Heidenreich Marine

Claims: Jones Act/Negligence/Unseaworthiness

Jury Verdict: $4.5 million (Attorneys Fees: $1,860,000; Expenses: $105,452.29; injury – operated knee and lumbar injuries).

A Houston jury, in May 2009, awarded more than $4.5 million to Doyle Dennis Avery LLP client Capt. Charles Norfleet for injuries sustained while being transferred in a personnel basket from a crew boat to a lightering ship in the Gulf of Mexico. The jury found both Chemikalien Seetransport GmbH of Hamburg, Germany, and Heidenreich Marine, Inc. of Connecticut responsible for negligence during the ship-to-ship transfer operation. Following a nearly four-week trial, the jury deliberated for less than two hours before returning its unanimous verdict in the 133rd District Court of Harris County.

$1.22 Million

$1.22 Million – Hamilton V. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company

Claims: Jones Act/Negligence/Unseaworthiness

Jury Verdict: $1.22 million (Attorneys’ Fees: $400,000; Litigation Expenses: $47,276.54; injury – operated lumbar spine injuries).

In August 2009, a Houston (Harris County) jury awarded $1.22 million to Doyle Dennis Avery LLP client Roger Hamilton for injuries sustained in a November 2005 incident onboard the dredging vessel Pontchartrain. The jury determined that Great Lakes was negligent in maintaining improper steps and decking aboard the vessel, and in attempting to conceal information regarding the reporting of the incident. The found Great Lakes to be 100% responsible for the incident that ended Mr. Hamilton’s career in the dredging business.