Arnold & Itkin LLP Files Lawsuit On Behalf Of Maritime Worker Injured in Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig Explosion

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Houston law firm says lawsuit sends strong message that health and safety of offshore workers must be safeguarded by employers.

We take very seriously the legal rights afforded maritime workers under the Jones Act and the principles of general maritime law.

Arnold & Itkin LLP has filed a lawsuit against Transocean Deepwater Drilling, Inc. and BP on behalf of an offshore worker injured in the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.

The lawsuit filed in Galveston County Court in Texas on April 29 (Case # 62,738, Joshua Kritzer v. Transocean et al) alleges that seaman Joshua Kritzer suffered serious injuries when he was thrown 25 to 30 feet down a hall and knocked unconscious during the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon.

After regaining consciousness and frantically removing debris that had fallen on him, Kritzer escaped the burning rig by climbing over a collapsed wall to a life raft, the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit asserts a Jones Act claim alleging the Deepwater Horizon was unseaworthy and the defendants were grossly negligent in operating the vessel with inadequate crew, failing to maintain it and failing to properly supervise the crew.

The Jones Act is a federal law that gives injured seamen the legal right to sue maritime employers in cases of negligence and unseaworthiness.

“This lawsuit sends a strong message that the health and safety of offshore workers must be safeguarded by employers,” said Kurt Arnold, a partner in Arnold & Itkin LLP, who filed the lawsuit.

Kritzer was among more than a dozen crew members injured in the explosion. Eleven crew died in the blast before the massive oil rig eventually sank into the Gulf of Mexico. The Deepwater Horizon was owned by Transocean, a Swiss company, and leased to BP, which was drilling about 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana.

As a result of the explosion, Kritzer, a resident of Louisiana, sustained a closed head injury along with injuries to his ankle and hip, resulting in physical pain and mental anguish, the lawsuit alleges. The lawsuit demands the defendants pay Kritzer’s past and future medical expenses and support under the general maritime law benefits of maintenance and cure. It also alleges he has sustained a loss of future earning capacity.

“We take very seriously the legal rights afforded maritime workers under the Jones Act and the principles of general maritime law,” said Jason Itkin, a partner in Arnold & Itkin, which concentrates on maritime and admiralty law. “We want to make sure employers respect and adhere to those rights.”

In addition to Transocean, the lawsuit names as defendants BP Exploration and Production, Inc., BP, PLLC; BP Products North America Inc., and BP Corporation North America Inc.

About Arnold & Itkin LLP

The lawyers at Arnold & Itkin LLP, a personal injury law firm based in Houston, Texas, understand the complexities and legalities of maritime law and have a successful track record of verdicts and settlements in favor of maritime workers. The firm provides legal guidance on all aspects of maritime law and the benefits offshore workers are entitled to under the Jones Act, the Death on the High Seas Act, the principle of maintenance and cure, or the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act.

The firm handles maritime claims at port cities along the Gulf Coast in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The firm can be contacted toll free at (866) 222-2606 or online through the firm's website.

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