$82M Awarded in Wrongful Death of Gas Plant Worker
Joshua Wade Petrie, 27, lost his life in late May 2007, leaving behind his wife, two daughters and a then-unborn son. Most of the damages awarded in the wrongful death suit will go to the Petrie children.
It is unclear whether Exterran/Hanover -- which bears full responsibility for paying the judgment -- will appeal the jury's verdict. It may find doing so difficult, though, since the jury determined that Petrie bore no liability for the deadly explosion that occurred when he attempt to light the burner on the oil heater.
When companies cut corners on construction, inspections and safety, workers too often suffer life-changing injuries or die. Oil and gas companies -- and construction, shipping and mining companies -- cannot put speed, profit or any other consideration above worker's health. While no amount of money can replace a lost husband and father, I applaud the Texas jurors for holding Exterran/Hanover and Quicksilver to account for their negligence.