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Lawsuit filed against oil company after 20-year-old's death

There are few things more valued by Minnesota residents than being safe and in good health. Both while at home and on the job, individuals do what they can to keep themselves and their families safe.

That being said, some individuals face more danger in their jobs than others, such as oil field workers. This has been made all too apparent by a number of devastating incidents over the past few years that have caused oil field accident injuries and deaths.

For example, a lawsuit was recently filed by a mother after her 20-year-old son died while inspecting oil storage tanks in the Bakken oil field of North Dakota. The suit was filed against Continental Resources, which owns the well site, as well as three of its subcontractors, based on allegations that inadequate air monitoring equipment or training was provided to the man. This represented a breach of the defendants' duty to maintain a safe, secure work site, according to the lawsuit, which was a substantial contributing factor to the man's fatal injury from overexposure to hydrocarbon vapors. The defendants have denied liability in the incident and claimed that the man's own negligence contributed in part to his death.

It remains to be seen how it will be resolved. The case is one of many that have been filed in recent years, however, due to the dangerous conditions faced by oil field workers. Whether it is working at excessive heights, being exposed to toxic gases and fumes, being hit by equipment or trucks or being involved in explosions on job sites, there is no shortage of danger for all involved.

And yet, the law places obligations upon oil companies and their contractors to follow certain safety standards. If employers do not take necessary precautions to ensure the safety of the workers, the workers may have legal claims that can be pursued against the company in order to obtain legal relief for the harm they have suffered.

Source: Last Best News, "Another lawsuit filed over oil tank inspection death," Ed Kemmick, Nov. 24, 2015

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