Injured Oklahoma workers lose on appeal in Denver

Two men who sued some Oklahoma drilling companies after they were hurt while repairing a drilling device have lost their appeal with the U.S, 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in  Denver.

The court ruled against Jacob McGehee and Steven Ray Heath. They sued Forest Oil Corp. and Lantern Drilling Co. along with Southwest Electronic Energy Corporation and Engineered Power LP and Teledrift, Inc.

McGehee and Heath were cleaning and disassembling a drilling device that Forest and Lantern had leased from Teledrift and returned following drilling operations. During the cleaning the two discovered several small bolts had fallen into the device and while McGehee attempted to remove them, the lithium battery inside the device exploded injuring him and Heath.

The two sued Forest and Lantern in Cleveland County District Court for negligently causing the explosion by allowing the bolts to fall into the device. But the case was removed to Oklahoma City Federal Court where a summary judgment for Forest and Lantern was granted. The judge ruled the two companies did not owe a duty of care to the injured plaintiffs.