Patterson-UTI dropped from deadly oil rig lawsuit in Oklahoma

Houston-based Patterson-UTI has been dismissed from a lawsuit filed by the wife of an Oklahoma man killed in the January 2018 oil rig fire that killed five workers near McAlester.

The dismissal of the negligence claim against the company means it cannot be refiled.

Dianna Waldridge originally filed suit against Patterson-UTI and Oklahoma City-based Red Mountain Energy after the Jan. 22, 2018 fire near the town of Quinton. Her husband, Parker Waldridge of Crescent was killed along with the four other workers. They were Matt Smith of McAlester, Roger Cunningham of Seminole, Josh Ray of Fort Worth, Texas and Cody Risk of Wellington, Colorado.

Three of the men were employees of Patterson Drilling.

Waldridge’s attorney, Michael Lyons, said Friday that he can’t discuss terms of the settlement and that the lawsuit continues against Red Mountain Energy.

The request for dismissal by District Judge Timothy E. Miller was filed March 28 and stated each party would bear their own costs and attorneys’ fees.

It also came after Julie Jones, Patterson Drilling’s former Vice President of Human Resources testified for four hours in January in a deposition for the case.

Another widow who filed suit sought to reopen the deposition. Julie Smith, whose husband Matt died in the fire also sued red Mountain Energy , LLC (Case No: CJ-2018-60).

Court records show she won a State Workers’ Compensation Commission ruling in August of last year in which she was awarded a lump sum of $100,000 as well as weekly benefits of $590.63 per week. Her minor son was awarded a $25,000 lump sum to be placed in an interest bearing trust account. The child also receives weekly benefits of $126.56.

The awards were approved by Administrative Law Judge Michael T. Egan at the Compensation Commission.

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