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Injured oil derrick worker's family cannot sue owner of well

Franklin D. Davis, Jr., suffered very severe injuries when he fell a little over 20 feet after a cable snapped.  He died some time later and his family brought a legal action against the owner of the well, KCS Resources, Inc.  His family's attorneys argued that KCS was negligent in supervising the activities at the well-drilling site and in failing to maintain a safe "common work area."  The Court of Appeals affirmed a decision by the trial court dismissing the claim.  It noted that the owner of the well had sub-contracted the work to Davis's employer and that no other sub-contractors worked on the derrick.  Therefore it was not a "common work area."  Since the owner was no longer in possession of the site, the activity was not "ultrahazardous" and the derrick wasn't a common work area, the owner owed no duty to Davis with regard to safety.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
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Traverse City, Michigan 49684
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