Louisiana Family Waits for Answers in Work-Related Accident
Louisiana has an enviable combination of natural resources (oil and natural gas) and modes of transportation that includes busy ports, waterways and interstate highways. While the combination keeps the state’s economy moving, it also means that Louisiana work-related accidents can mean serious injuries or even fatalities.
We read recently of a family that lost a loved one in a tragic workplace accident about 200 miles east of Lake Charles in Belle Chasse. The family’s grief was compounded by their inability to get the remains of their loved one from the refinery where he died, and their frustration in getting a clear explanation of what exactly happened on Independence Day when the accident occurred.
“It was tragic. It was like a nightmare,” said a co-worker who worked that fateful night shift, doing contract work for Phillips 66. He said he, his safety-conscious friend and one other worker were atop a tower.
His friend “was grabbing (a) hose and he slipped and fell into the coolant tower,” the co-worker who witnessed the mishap said.
The deceased man’s widow said her late husband had only been doing the contract work for a few months, but that he had years of offshore experience. “He was a good man,” she said. “A great provider.”
But as of this past weekend, she had not been told how or why the accident happened. And she had not received her late husband’s remains either.
Phillips 66 said multiple attempts at body recovery were unsuccessful, prompting a refinery shutdown so that recovery workers could have safe access to a basin where the body was located. The remains were found and turned over to the Plaquemines Parish Coroner’s Office.
No one knows yet what an investigation of the tragedy will reveal, but we do know that far too often workers are put into dangerous situations by employers concerned with the bottom line more than workplace safety.
If you or your family has been harmed in an accident at a plant, offshore or in an interstate highway crash, speak to one of our Lake Charles personal injury attorneys to learn about your legal options.