Houston Law Firm Provides Media With Maritime Law Information Following Gulf Coast Oil Rig Explosion

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Lawyers with Arnold & Itkin LLP have done multiple interviews about fire and injuries on the Deepwater Horizon, an oil rig that burned and sank this week in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Gulf Coast Oil Rig Explosion and Fire

Unfortunately, the rise of incidents offshore are increasing as the exploration for oil and gas increases. Many companies talk about their safety record, but the majority of accidents are not reported or misclassified.

When the Transocean Ltd. oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, the news media needed expertise on oil rig fires and worker injuries so they turned to the experienced maritime law attorneys at Arnold & Itkin LLP.

Arnold & Itkin LLP has represented a number of injured employees in legal actions against drilling companies, and the firm has a Website on maritime law. Founding partner Kurt Arnold has shared his insights about Transocean Ltd. and oil rig fires with television, radio and print media.

“The problem is with a lot of fuel exploding, the water turns to fire,” Arnold said in a television interview with Channel 39, Houston’s local ABC affiliate.

Deepwater Horizon, a massive oil rig owned by Transocean Ltd., a Swiss company, and leased to BP PLC, was drilling about 52 miles southeast of Venice, La., in 5,000 feet of water when the fire erupted Tuesday night. Most of the 126-member crew escaped from the burning oil rig, which eventually collapsed and sank into the ocean. But at least 17 workers suffered injuries and 11 crew remain missing. The Coast Guard continued its search Friday for the missing crew.

Arnold, who focuses on maritime injury cases, said most of the offshore workers live together in small Gulf coast towns in East Texas and Louisiana, and major fires and accidents such as this affect entire communities.

“Unfortunately, the rise of incidents offshore are increasing as the exploration for oil and gas increases,” Arnold told The Houston Chronicle in an article about oil rig accidents. “Many companies talk about their safety record, but the majority of accidents are not reported or misclassified. Unlike on land, there is little oversight.”

Arnold said work safety regulations administered by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration did not apply to offshore rigs and suggested oil rig injuries and accidents go underreported.

"We spend a lot of time analyzing oil rig accidents and the serious injuries they cause," Arnold said. "When the news media call, we're glad to offer our insights about this area of law."

Arnold said offshore workers and their families have legal rights and protections to collect compensation from employers for their injuries under federal maritime laws such as the Jones Act and the Death on the High Seas Act.

“These laws offer important protections to workers who suffer serious injuries because of unsafe working conditions and negligence on the part of their employers,” Arnold said.

The cause of the oil rig fire was still under investigation.

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. 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 through the firm's Website at jones-act-maritime-lawyer.com.

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