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oil field h2s gas negligence Premises Liability

Discussion in 'Accidents, Injuries, Negligence' started by guestpost, Mar 19, 2013.

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  1. guestpost

    guestpost Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Back in december I worked on a pulling unit/rig in the oil field in nebraska. We were pulling a well and I was unscrewing the pipe as it came out. I was wearing an H2S meter (hydrogen sulfide) and it kept beeping only for a short time each time a pipe was unscrewed. Eventually the beeps got longer and I was coughing and feeling woozy my operator told me to walk away. As I was walking away it got worse and became hard to breathe. Sat down for 20 minutes or so trying to breathe. My operator (who is also a good friend and fellow iraqi veteran) called the production manager and expressed that I had been "hit hard" with the h2s and he didnt feel comfortable continuing that day and wanted to leave it over the weekend to see if it would settle and air out. The production manager said the well has been down for to long and needs to be going now. The production manager told him to have me just simply walk away if it got to bad. (tried that the first time) so the operator said we would take it slow and if i had to walk away every 2-3 minutes then so be it. We started pulling pipe again, and the meter was immediately beeping continuously and flashing "high" just as it was before. I had just started working there 5-6 weeks before this and was never informed of the effects or "how much is to much" I knew nothing about the stuff and I didn't want to appear weak or to slow progress as you could say. The operator asked me if I was ok because I was light headed and couldnt keep my balance. I told him to pull one more and I would take a break because I thought i would be fine if i simply walked away when I felt it like my production manager had said. Seconds after saying that I felt as if I were going to pass out and turned and started walking away. I made it 15-20 steps before I was doubled over coughing uncontrollably. Then within seconds my chest tightened and I could not force a breath in or out and it was mere gasps. I started panicking and threw my hard hat against a trailer and started punching a metal trash can as hard as I could even though I couldnt breathe because I was scared that bad and that panicked. My operator finally got me calmed down and laid down with my arms above my head on a side hill. I couldnt talk at all because my chest would tighten up. All i could do was concentrate on forcing each breath in or out. He kept asking if I needed an ambulance and of course me being prideful and the lack of training on the severity of the issue I refused. My heartrate had slowed and I asked him to feel my hands because my hands and feet felt freezing. he grabbed them and I couldnt even feel it and said they felt ice cold. I started feeling better and walked over to the vehicle and after walking appr 30-40 feet I was air in and out again. I finally told him I needed to go in to the DR and told him to just drive me there. On the way there my head started pounding and having sharp pains. My chest started having sharp squeezing feelings periodically. When we arrived at the ER nurses were waiting outside because he had called ahead. I walked across the parking lot to the ER and was in a panic again because I couldnt breathe by the time I got there, The nurses made me stop about 10 feet in front of them and ask what I was exposed to the operator explained and they didnt know anything about it and didnt want to get contaminated. I yelled at them in my panicked state and said its a gas, its in my system not on my clothing. So instead of getting me a wheelchair they told me to walk to a room and once again was unable to breathe. needless to say they called poison control because they had no knowledge of it and finally hooked me up to oxygen for an hour or so and I was then sent on my way my mother came and picked me up and drove me back to my house 15 minutes away and I started having trouble breathing a long the way and still felt terrible. I had got home and was just thoroughly exhausted but couldnt sleep. I had a note from the doctor to excuse me from one day of work. which fell right before the weekend so I was off for 3 days. During my time off I was extremely tired the whole time and irritable and pissed off for no reason. I would snap at my fiancee and then realize I was doing so, and broke down crying and said im sorry, i dont know whats wrong with me, something in my head just doesnt feel right and thats the only way I could describe it. She said I said that same thing at least 5-6 times over the next couple weeks. I went back to work that monday to the same well that I was exposed to gas. Once again the meter was going off every joint of pipe but I would hold my breath the whole time I screwed it together and would run everytime the pipe went in the hole because water would spray up and thats when the gas was strongest. I was absolutely terrified and had to take a few breaks because I felt weak. The operater had to stop a couple times as well because he was feeling the affects. Even though I had just been sent to the ER we were doing the exact same thing without protective equipment and gear. I had such anxiety and fear everyday at work. I am not the type to be afraid of much. I have been deployed to iraq and have had rockets shot near my proximity multiple times and would rather do that every day for the rest of my life then go through that feeling again. Needless to say I started applying at other jobs a week after the incident and put in my two weeks notice about 4-5 weeks after the incident, only to be told a week into my two weeks notice that I didnt need to come to work my last week and to be left wondering how I would get money during that week of not working. I recieved a letter from the oil companies insurance saying they would not pay workers comp because my "chest pains" were not work related. I was infuriated and called the adjuster and asked how me being exposed to gas was not work related. She stated that there was not proof that was the cause and they would pay for the ER visit but not lost wages. I said thats fine as long as the bill is paid because I am not the type to look for a handout. So in the meantime from that point to present I have had terrible mood swings and snap at my fiancee for no reason and cannot control my anxiety/anger/frustration and am always tired . My fiancee has asked multiple times why I had the sudden change in mood and behavior and said I used to be so patient and calm about everything. I never had an answer for her. I felt/feel like im just exsisting, and depressed without any specific reason to feel this way. Almost just an empty feeling. I also have had a hard time remembering even the smallest of things. I never have thought about it and just kept telling her I would get better and figure out what my issue was. I have been the same to my 2 year old son and it kills me. I have always been big on rules and good forms of discipline and explaining in a calm way not to do certain things but anymore I just yell and lose my temper and get so frustrated.

    I was at drill for the Army Reserves over the weekend and my fiance called me and told me I had recieved a bill from McCook Community Hospital for my ER visit stating that workmans comp had been denied. So I got a hold of the insurance company at my previous employer and couldnt reach the adjuster on the case, and was transferred to another adjustor I automatically was infuriated and started yelling at him until he told me he was not on my case but would look over the notes. In the file it stated there was no "traumatic event or cause" from anything work related to give me "chest pains" so once again started yelling and he said my adjustor was available. She got on the phone and said sir we cannot pay for an ER visit that was not a result of anything but natural causes as there was no traumatic work related event to cause this. So I yelled you tell me if standing over a hole in the ground putting pipe down in the ground with a gas meter on my collar that was beeping because gas was present and almost F-ing dying as a result is not traumatic.She told me to calm down, and said well why dont you fax that ER bill so I can review it. I told her I remember talking to her specifially when I called the first time when she had said the ER visit would be paid for. She said sir instead going back and forth why dont you just fax that and have a nice day. So I began researching h2s gas so I could have something to justify my ER visit even though I shouldnt need to. During my research Symptoms of extreme irritability, rage, anxiety frustration and acute memory loss popped up every place I looked. Also stating that many of these symptoms are long term and permanent. So without letting my fiancee know I had been looking into it I called and asked if she thought my personality and mood/behavior had started getting worse when I quit the oil job. She said now that I think about a week after that is when you blew up bad for the first time and have been doing so ever since. The person I have been for the last 3-4 months is not me and I pray somehow it gets better. All I was looking for was my ER visit paid for but after the treatment I have recieved from the insurance company and my previous employer after all the negligent acts on their behalf I feel like I should be compensated especially if my mood and behavior and fatigue is a direct result from hydrogen sulfide exposure when it was brought to the production managers attention and all he cared about was getting that well done before the weekend and had complete disregard for my health and safety,

    I contacted the rig operator who is an eye witness and the person that called the manager to say he didnt feel comfortable continuing and he said he would write a statement, testify or do whatever he could because he said he still feels terrible and feels even worse he persuaded me to work for such a terrible company, (He no longer works there)

    Sorry about the length there are just so many details that make this situation what it is and has become.

    Please let me know if there is a case. If I need to be on medication to control my mood for the rest of my life I should not be liable for that. Not to mention the unnecessary pain and suffering and affect on my family this has caused when it could have easily been prevented.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I suggest you tell that to a lawyer. He or she might listen. That's too long and boring for me to read. Besides, if there is a remedy, it won't be found on an anonymous Internet forum.


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