Nabors Industries suit removed to federal court

By Kyla Asbury | Apr 18, 2013

CLARKSBURG - A Monongalia County case involving Nabors Industries Ltd. has been removed to federal court.

Nabors Well Services Co. and Jacob Rowan Forrest were also named as defendants in the suit.

On July 11, 2012, Richard F. Detamore, who was employed by Nabors and was required to travel a distance of approximately 120 miles from Weston to Dallas Pike each day for work, left his home at 4:30 a.m. in a Ford F-250 owned by Nabors and was joined at some point by Forrest, according to a complaint removed April 15 to U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia at Clarksburg.

Ashley Detamore claims due to conflicting statements by eyewitnesses and investigators, it is unclear who was driving the Nabors company truck after the two men began the ride together to work, but, regardless of who was driving, at approximately 6:25 a.m. between the 158 and 159 mile markers of Interstate 79 near the Pennsylvania border, the truck suddenly veered into the median and rolled several times, ejecting both occupants.

At the time of the accident, Richard Detamore had logged nearly 28 hours of work in the previous 48 hours and it was believed that Forrest had worked roughly the same amount of hours in the same time frame, according to the suit.

Ashley Detamore claims while Forrest had minor injuries, Richard Detamore was pronounced dead at the scene and, in the aftermath of the crash, an eyewitness stated that Richard Detamore had been the passenger in the truck and the passenger compartment was "by far the most severely damaged part of the truck."

However, Forrest stated that Richard Detamore had been driving and had been very tired and the state police issued a report determining that Richard Detamore had been driving, according to the suit.

Ashley Detamore claims Nabors knew or should have known that working Richard Detamore and Forrest up to 38 hours in a 48-hour time span and then requiring them to drive several hours in the dark, early morning hours created an unsafe working condition that presented a high degree of risk and a strong probability of serious injury or death.

Nabors is liable for Richard Detamore's death because it had actual knowledge of the number of hours he had worked in the previous 48 hours and had actual knowledge that he would be driving approximately two hours while exhausted, according to the suit.

Ashley Detamore claim Richard Detamore's final pay stub reflects six hours of "vacation" time taken the day before his death, but Richard Detamore took no vacation time that day and she believes the six hours of vacation time were falsely designated as such to conceal the true number of hours worked before his death.

As a result of the defendants' deliberate intent resulting in Richard Detamore's wrongful death, he suffered conscious pain and suffering prior to his death; Ashley Detamore suffered loss of Richard Detamore's earnings, household services, pain, suffering, sorrow, mental anguish, emotional anguish, grief and loss of consortium; funeral expenses and other expenses; and legal fees, according to the suit.

Ashley Detamore is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. She is being represented by David M. Grunau.

The case has been assigned to District Court Judge Irene Keeley.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia at Clarksburg case number: 1:13-cv-00121

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