A mother recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against three Texas oil companies on behalf of her minor children in New Orleans federal court. On January 30th, Amy Richard Howell filed a lawsuit against Hillcorp Energy Company, Sparrows Offshore, and Avante Services seeking damages for the death of her children's father, Philip Kliebert. Kliebert died on April 18, 2011 while working for Alliance Oilfield Services to plug and abandon an exposed oil well. According to Howell's lawsuit, the accident was allegedly caused when a crane operator employed by Sparrows Offshore swung equipment in such a way that it caused Kliebert to fall approximately 28 feet into an open oil well.
Howell has accused the three oil companies named in her complaint of multiple acts of negligence. She claims the companies failed to warn Kliebert, failed to provide a safe working environment, failed to provide sufficient lighting for the project, failed to provide proper protective equipment, failed to ensure the proper safety equipment was used by workers, failed to properly supervise the crane operator, failed to provide a competent and qualified crane operator, and failed to implement a proper Job Safety Analysis prior to commencement of the task. She also claims the companies committed further acts of negligence by failing to properly supervise the oil well workers, failing to provide a crane that was in good repair, and by hiring incompetent and inexperienced contractors to complete the task.
Howell is asking the court to award her children compensation for loss of love and affection, loss of financial support, loss of society, and funeral expenses. She also seeks survival damages for Kliebert's suffering and pain, medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of earning capacity.
Thousands of deaths occur each year as a result of tragic and preventable accidents. An award of damages for wrongful death provides compensation to the family members of a person who was killed through another party's wrongful act or negligence. In the State of Louisiana, only a surviving spouse, children, parents, or guardians may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. In some limited circumstances, other relatives such as siblings or grandparents may also be entitled to file a wrongful death case. Louisiana's statute of limitations only allows relatives to file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years from the date of a loved one's death. Due to this limited time-frame, it is very important that you speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident resulting in death.