TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — On Tuesday, a jury awarded $20 million in a wrongful death lawsuit brought in the aftermath of the Patterson 219 oil rig fire near Quinton, Oklahoma, on January 22, 2018, that killed five. The jury awarded damages to each family plaintiff in the amount of $10 million.
It is the largest jury verdict in the history of Pittsburg County and one of the largest verdicts ever rendered in Oklahoma.
“Today is a great day for our civil justice system," lead trial lawyer David Rumley said. "We asked the jury to send a clear message about this horrible tragedy, and they responded with the largest jury verdict in the history of Pittsburg County, and one of the largest jury verdicts ever returned in Oklahoma.”
The gas well explosion was considered to be the deadliest drilling accident since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.
The jury found Red Mountain Energy, Crescent Consulting, Patterson UTI, and National Oilwell Varco (NOV) responsible for the deaths of five men in the 2018 oil rig fire outside Quinton.
“Failure to accept any responsibility for the explosion meant a jury verdict was required for these families, and justice was served," said Oklahoma trial attorney Jeff Wigington.
Calling the jury’s verdict a victory, trial lawyer Joe Dunn said, “Honest, hard-working men were blamed for this catastrophe. This trial has exonerated them and placed the blame on the corporations that caused this tragedy.”