On Monday, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier listened to testimony from Transocean employees David Young and Paul Meinhart in the ongoing Deepwater Horizon rig explosion trial taking place in New Orleans.
Mr. Young, the Chief Mate and second-in-command to the Captain of the Deepwater Horizon on the day of the blast, testified that, in his opinion, the crew’s emergency training saved lives in the immediate aftermath of the April 20, 2010 rig explosion that killed 11 workers, injured dozens more and caused the largest oil spill disaster in United States history.
Mr. Young went on to state that the top priority of the Deepwater crew was always “…to go home safely back to their families”.
He also mentioned that the crew had an excellent safety culture.
Paul Meinhart testifies on the Captain’s demeanor in the aftermath of this deadly maritime accident.
Judge Barbier also heard videotaped testimony from Paul Meinhart, a Transocean rig worker who described Curt Kuchta, the Captain of the Deepwater Horizon as “very calm and direct” in the moments after the explosion.
The maritime accident lawyers at Fitts Zehl, LLP successfully represented Paul Meinhart in connection with the injuries he sustained in the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion.
In response to claims that Kuchta was “woefully undertrained” in the rig’s safety management system and was prevented by the Deepwater Horizon’s “dual command structure” from unilaterally activating an emergency system that would have disconnected the rig from the well.
Mr. Young testified that he personally triggered the rig’s general alarm after the explosion, contradicting earlier testimony in which another worker claimed the alarm never sounded.
The trial, which is currently in its fifth week, has seen Plaintiffs’ lawyers accuse BP and contractors of taking dangerous shortcuts in the name of increasing profits.
The ultimate purpose of the trial is to determine how much money each company should pay for their involvement in the explosion and subsequent oil spill.
Maritime accidents like the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion are avoidable!
Unfortunately, due to a number of unnecessary risks taken by profit-hungry company executives in the days and weeks running up to the blowout, they had to.
As a result, 11 people did not get to go home safely back to their families.
Has the offshore oil industry learned its lesson?
Only time will tell.
Unfortunately, oil-related maritime accidents continue to occur along the Gulf Coast at an alarming rate.