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$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.

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