February 5, 2020 / 7:07 PM / 2 months ago

Chesapeake Energy, others sued for $1 million in fatal Texas oil-well blast

(Reuters) - Chesapeake Energy Corp and three oilfield service firms were sued by the daughter of a worker who suffered fatal injuries when a Texas oil well exploded in flames last month.

The wrongful death suit seeks at least $1 million from Chesapeake Energy, Forbes Energy Services, Eagle Pressure Control and Halliburton Co. It was filed this week in Harris County District Court by Madison Hendrix, whose father, Brad Hendrix, died in a hospital days after the blast.

Hendrix alleged that Chesapeake, the well owner, and the oilfield service companies were negligent, failed to provide a safe work environment or adequate medical care to the workers.

Chesapeake declined to comment and Eagle Pressure Control did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Forbes Energy Services said it was “beyond saddened that three fatalities have been confirmed” and offered its “deepest sympathy and condolences” to families affected by the incident.

Attorneys representing Hendrix did not respond to a request for comment.

Halliburton said it was not performing any services on the rig when the well-control incident occurred. Its well-control unit, Boots & Coots, was hired to handle the post-incident well intervention work, a spokeswoman for the company said.

Brad Hendrix was a well-intervention technical adviser at Eagle Pressure Control, according to his LinkedIn profile. He was one of three workers fatally injured in the Jan. 29 explosion near Deanville, Texas.

A second Eagle Pressure Control employee, Windell Beddingfield, died on the day of the accident, according to an attorney for the family. His mother last week sought a temporary restraining order against Chesapeake to require it to preserve evidence from the blast.

A third victim, identified by local media as Brian Maldonado of San Diego, Texas, died in a hospital over the weekend. A fourth worker was airlifted to a hospital and has not been identified.

The companies and local officials have not officially released the names of victims from the incident.

Employees of Chesapeake, Eagle Pressure Control and Forbes Energy Services were on the site when natural gas leaked from a well during a workover operation and exploded near Deanville, about 75 miles (120 km) east off Austin.

WildHorse Resource Development Corp, which Chesapeake acquired last year, also was named in the lawsuit.

Reporting by Liz Hampton in Houston; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Peter Cooney

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