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Schafer/HMG Hired in North Dakota Oil Rig Explosion

Schafer/HMG Hired in ND Oil Rig ExplosionTwo of three men injured have burns on more than 60 percent of their bodies and remain hospitalized.

(BEACH, North Dakota) – A district court lawsuit has been filed against six different companies directly responsible for a horrific explosion at an oil rig located 30 miles northeast of Beach, N.D. The oil rig erupted into flames on the morning of Sunday, July 25, 2011 leaving two men severely burned and another with burns on his arms.

The three workers, Jeff Morton, Andrew Rohr and Timothy Bergee had finished drilling and were laying pipe when the explosion occurred. Mr. Morton (39) has second and third degree burns covering his arms. Mr. Rohr (53) has second and third degree burns over 80 percent of his body. His body also recently rejected skin grafts needed to repair the badly burned tissue. Mr. Bergee likewise received second and third degree burns covering nearly 70-percent of his body. The seasoned worker who is also 53-years of age lost a good amount of blood during treatment and has developed a life-threatening case of pneumonia.

“These men have all been put through hell over the past few weeks. Two of our clients have more than half of their bodies covered with burned flesh. The third has had his arms horribly burned,” said attorney Robert Hilliard of Hilliard Muñoz Gonzales L.L.P. “We have been conducting a thorough investigation into this incident. Bottom line, six different companies failed to protect human lives to turn a buck.”

The lawsuit is being brought against Continental Resources Inc., Pride Energy Inc., MI-SWACO Inc., Noble Casing Inc., Superior Well Services Inc., and Warrior Energy Services Corporation. The suit specifically cites that Continental Resources and Pride Energy created hazardous conditions by rushing operations and failing to operate as a safe and prudent operator under the same or similar circumstances. The lawsuit also cites that both were grossly negligent failing to adequately prepare a well plan, failing to control down-hole conditions through the drilling mud and cement and accepted inadequate and negligent programs from other companies despite foreseeable risks of injury to individuals on site.

The suit goes on to detail the conditions regarding the other four companies citing that MI-SWACO failed to provide, among other things, mud capable of holding pressure inside the formation and downhole as well as failed to provide a mud engineer who fully understood the well conditions. Noble Casing provided a pipe plan that was negligently designed. Superior Well Services and Warrior Energy Services Corporation were negligent in providing and designing cementing programs for the well and the pipe used in the rig’s drilling processes.

“The demand on workers in the oil industry is great. Meanwhile, companies are cutting corners and sacrificing safety standards to increase oil production,” said Brent Schafer of the Schafer Law Firm. “In this case, their negligence has permanently affected the lives of three men. All three have very long roads to recovery.”

Mr. Bergee and Mr. Rohr remain in intensive care at Hennepin County Medical Center’s Burn Unit in Minneapolis. No word yet on when the men will be released. Mr. Rohr has the most extensive injuries. He and his wife have two children. Mr. Morton is receiving treatment on an out patient basis. The suit was filed in the district court in Williams County.

About Hilliard Muñoz Gonzales L.L.P. - Hilliard Muñoz Gonzales L.L.P. has represented individuals from across the United States and Mexico since 1986. The Texas-based law firm specializes in a variety of personal injury, breach of contract, fraud and negligence cases, including oilfield and refinery explosions, trucking accidents, toxic exposure and dangerous prescription drugs. HMG’s principle office is located in Corpus Christi, Texas. More information on Hilliard Muñoz Gonzales L.L.P. can be found at

About the Schafer Law Firm, P.A. – The Schafer Law Firm is based in Minnesota and has represented individuals in both criminal defense and personal injury cases. Firm founder Brent Schafer has 17 years of trial experience and was named Minnesota Lawyer of the Year by Minnesota Lawyer magazine. Mr. Schafer is a published author and frequent lecturer in legal seminars. He has also amassed a successful trial record. More information on the firm can be found at