Yesterday, a gas well head owned by Hillcorp Energy Company exploded just beyond a residential neighborhood near Maurice, Louisiana.
While no residents of that neighborhood were injured, the explosion-which occurred around 12:30-resulted in the death of one Hillcorp employee and the injury of another employee.
In a media statement, Hillcorp announced that the cause of death is still under investigation. The statement also said the company is cooperating with state and local officials in an investigation to determine the cause of the explosion.
The identity of the explosion victims has still not been released.
While sources could not indicate the causes the explosion in any kind of detail, it is possible that the company may be found liable for causing the accident, at least to an extent. In that case, the family of the deceased explosion victim could potentially recover damages in a wrongful death claim.
In Louisiana, only close family members have the right to file a wrongful death suit. In order to present a successful wrongful death claim, a plaintiff must prove the death of their loved one was caused by a wrongful act, neglect or default, that the deceased has surviving dependants, beneficiaries, or children, and that the deceased person's death has resulted in financial loss.
Wrongful death claims are not about putting a price on a life. They are, rather, about compensating the victim's loved ones for their losses. Losing a loved one can result in profound economic changes for a family, particularly where the victim is the primary breadwinner. Wrongful death claims can help make it easier for a family to cope with the death of someone they loved and depended on for support.
Source: KATC, "Neighbors Shaken by Deadly Gas Well Explosion," Maddie Garrett, 31 Mar 2011.