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Injured worker awarded $4.1 million after Colorado accident

A 42-year-old employee of Tesco is being awarded more than $4 million by a federal jury in Denver after it heard his case.

The injured worker, an immigrant from Laos who has been employed by Tesco for years, was crushed in December of 2005 because of errors with the drilling rig on which he was working. The lawyer who is representing the victim claims the accident happened because equipment, including a drilling pipe section that was incorrectly connected, broke free and pinned the man against a drilling derrick.

His injuries included herniated cervical disks and spinal fractures among other painful injuries. He has been deemed unemployable because he lacks the ability to move and is in a great deal of pain. Currently, he is in the care of his wife outside of the Denver area.

Allegedly, the equipment being used on the rig the victim was operating was the incorrect size. In addition, it could not correctly link with other equipment because it was not threaded properly to combine with a different size pipe.

The jury ruled that Encana Oil and Gas were somewhat to blame for the incident, but the injured worker had not named the company in the lawsuit and it is not expected to pay part of the victim's award.

The victim's lawyer said they expect to see Tesco appeal the jury's ruling, but the company was rightly prosecuted for its negligence. He added that he is seeing an increase of businesses who do not want to take responsibility for their actions.

Source: Glenwood Springs Post Independent, "Jury awards $4.1M to injured Rifle rig worker," John Colson, June 15, 2012

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