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Texas Company Named In Father’s Suit Over Son’s Oil Field Death

The father of an oil field worker killed while working in the Bakken oil field has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against oil companies based in Texas and Colorado, alleging that inappropriate and negligent use of equipment led his 22-year-old son’s death. According to the wrongful death suit, Pioneer Drilling Services and Whiting Petroleum negligently caused Kyle Winter’s oil field death, which occurred while he was installing pipe at a North Dakota oil well for his employer, Heller Casing. If you have lost a loved one in a fatal oil field accident in Texas allegedly caused by the negligence of another person or party, contact our reputable attorneys at Bandas Law Firm today for legal help. Our lawyers have years of experience protecting the rights of oil field accident victims and their families, and can help you pursue the compensation you deserve for your losses.


In his wrongful death lawsuit, Kyle Winter’s father reports that his son died when a 1,200-pound piece of equipment fell on him, crushing his chest and abdomen. The accident reportedly took place as Winter was installing pipe using a piece of equipment called power tongs, which are used to twist pipe into place at a freshly drilled oil well. Unfortunately, as the complaint states, the tongs Winter was using on January 31 were not securely fastened, and instead hung loosely on three open hooks with the unstable connection reinforced with common electrical tape. Another worker using a piece of equipment to lower pipe into the drilling well caught the cable for the power tongs and sent the equipment plummeting into Winter. Winter had reportedly stepped out of the safety zone at that time to warn the worker operating the machinery of the increasingly dangerous situation.


Winter’s father filed the wrongful death suit because he believes negligence on the part of the oil companies led to his son’s death. According to an attorney for Winter’s father, “Pioneer [Drilling Services] had a set of power tongs that were designed for the rig that was being used. But they would not allow Casing employees to use the power tongs. Had they used the other, more appropriate power tongs the accident would have been prevented.” Following Winter’s job-site death, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducted an investigation and found that Texas-based Pioneer Drilling Services was in serious violation of the industry’s standards. Winter’s father is seeking damages from Pioneer Drilling Services, the company that owned the equipment involved in the worker’s death, and Colorado-based Whiting Petroleum Corp., the company that owned the property where the drilling was taking place.