Family attorney for oil rig explosion victim explains lawsuit against companies

TULSA - Parker Waldridge was married with four daughters, he was the bread winner for his family; and attorney Michael Lyons said someone needs to answer for why he can't be any longer.

When an oil rig in Quinton burst into flames five families got unthinkable news. 

One of them was the family of 60-year-old Parker Waldridge. 

"What the family wants is they want to see number one the parties that were responsible for this be held accountable for it," said family attorney Michael Lyons. 

He said the lawsuit filed yesterday proposes two big questions and they deserve answers. 

"One is, what could've been done to prevent the blowout? And then two, why wasn't the well shut in a timely [manner] to save lives?"

The suit names defendants:

Red Mountain Operating, LLC; Red Mountain Energy, LLC; Patterson-UTI Drilling Company, LLC; and Patterson-UTI Energy, INC. 

"The government officials I've talked to at this point have raised concerns that the blowout prevention did not work properly."

The suit claims the explosion was "preventable" and he can prove Patterson has a record of "workplace fatalities."

"We're talking about a company that despite not being the largest has the second largest workplace fatality ratio of any company that operates drilling rigs in the United States."

The companies are each listed for different sets of counts including negligence, reckless conduct and wrongful death. 

Lyons anticipates the amount the family asks for in damages will easily exceed $75,000. 

In a statement Patterson-UTI said it doesn't comment on pending litigation, but it's committed to preventing an accident like this from happening again. 

Red Mountain's attorney declined to comment.

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