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Attorneys representing explosion victim say safety rules were bypassed

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Photo by Adam Boykin

Attorneys representing explosion victim say safety rules were bypassed

by Steve W Stewart | Jun 16, 2020 |

Attorneys representing one of three men who were injured in a summer of 2019 explosion and fire on a Jasper County oil rig say the accident was preventable, and basic safety rules were bypassed.

Cody Dishon and Jane Leger with the Ferguson Law Firm, LLC in Beaumont represent Brandon Fregia and his family. Fregia suffered the most serious burns when the explosion occurred at about 10:30 on the morning of August 9th. It happened on a Jeffcoat Production Company rig on County Road 607 between Kirbyville and Buna.

Jasper County Sheriff Mitchel Newman was at the scene that morning and he said that the workers were using a temporary derrick and truck commonly known as a “work over rig” to perform maintenance at the well site.

Another person at the scene said that the incident occurred as workers were circulating the well and natural gas fumes apparently got into the engine that turns the pump, and despite their efforts to shut the engine and pump down it ran away uncontrolled and then exploded.

Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that a tank was improperly placed too close to the work area.

Dishon said “The oil rig explosion was completely preventable had the Defendants followed basic industry standards. Instead of adhering to basic industry standards, Defendants ignored those standards and chose profits over safety. We hope justice is served and the companies here change their attitude towards safety.”

Fregia reportedly suffered severe burns from the waist up. He was flown from the scene by medical helicopter to a Galveston burn unit where he underwent treatment. Dishon said of Fregia’s injuries “There is no question that his life will never be the same.”

The attorneys have filed a $10 million lawsuit against Jeffcoat Production Company, Inc., and also Deluxe Lease Maintenance of SETX, both of which are headquartered in Spurger.

Dishon summed it up by saying “This case provides another example why Texas consistently leads the nation in serious workplace injuries and deaths.”

KJAS News contacted the Jeffcoat Production Company office on June 10th, 2020. A woman who answered the phone said that no one was available for comment, and she was unable to tell us who is acting as their counsel.

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