Anthony v. Patterson-UTI Drilling

On May 18, 2013, Darryl Anthony, a vacuum truck driver employed by a construction company, was dispatched to Patterson Rig #201, an oil rig operated by Apache Energy in Glasscock County, Texas. He parked the truck next to the mud tank area of the rig and then attached a vacuum line to his truck. The other end of the vacuum line was already in the mud tank through a tank opening. Anthony’s assignment was to suction the mud from the tank and transport it to another drill site. A supervisor of the Patterson rig was in charge of the procedure. After most of the mud had been suctioned, a derrick hand entered the tank to move the remaining mud toward the vacuum line. He instructed Anthony to remove the line and place it in a second tank. As the derrick hand exited the tank to open the second one. Anthony told the supervisor that he was going to return to his truck to activate the second pumping, which meant that he had to walk across the first tank. He did not realize, and no one on the job site told him, that the derrick hand had not replaced the cover on the first tank. Anthony fell into the tank, striking his head, shoulder, and leg.

Anthony lost consciousness as a result of a head injury. Once he came to, he was able to climb out of the tank and was, eventually, taken to a hospital. He was diagnosed with a concussion, leg laceration, torn rotator cuff, and abrasions to the right side of his head. Ten days after the accident, Anthony was still suffering tremendous headaches and went to a doctor who diagnosed him with a traumatic brain injury. The serious injuries he sustained due to this incident resulted in several surgeries, extensive physical therapy, and an intensive neurological therapy program. Medical experts state that it is unlikely he will be able to return to his previous career as a truck driver.

Slack Davis Sanger represented Mr. Anthony in his allegations of negligence against the drilling company. Not only had the grating not been replaced on the tank once it was no longer in use, but the lighting was poor, in violation of workplace regulations. John Jose, partner at Slack Davis Sanger, secured a settlement for our client’s pain, medical bills, loss of earnings, and other damages before trial.

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