Court: Oil companies can be sued when worker injured

Posted at 11:49 AM, Jan 23, 2018

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The Oklahoma Supreme Court says oil and natural gas companies can be sued when workers are injured or killed on the job, striking down part of a state law exempting them from such lawsuits.

The state's highest court handed down the ruling Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by the family of a worker who died after being burned at an Oklahoma County oil well site operated by Stephens Production Co.

Attorneys for Stephens argued that a workers' compensation law adopted by the Oklahoma Legislature in 2013 granted them immunity.

In an 8-0 ruling with one recusal, the Supreme Court upheld a district court judge who ruled the statute is an unconstitutional special law.

An attorney for Stephens, E. Edd Pritchett Jr., didn't immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

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