Oil companies sued by worker blinded in well

Kelly Holleran Aug. 11, 2009, 5:16am

A man who says he was blinded in his right eye after working on a well is suing his employer.

Michael E. Pittman filed a lawsuit July 31 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Mannon L. Walters Inc., Mannon L. Walters Jr., Mannon Oil and F.E. Moran Oil Company.

Pittman claims he was monitoring and maintaining well sites for Mannon L. Walters Inc. and Mannon L. Walters Jr. on a lease well site in Hamilton County on Aug. 16, 2007.

"That on said date, Michael Pittman sustained significant personal injuries including but not limited to a traumatic brain injury, loss of sight in his right eye, cognitive and functional impairment including loss of memory, nerve damage, and permanent disability from gainful employment," the suit states. "Plaintiff has been forced to undergo extensive medical treatment including neurosurgical, rehabilitative and neuropsychological care."

Because of the incident, Pittman has also been unable to continue working, lost wages and experienced great pain, suffering and mental anguish, according to the complaint.

At the time of Pittman's accident, Mannon L. Walters Inc. and Mannon L. Walters Jr. did not have workers' compensation.

In the four-count suit, Pittman is seeking a judgment of more than $100,000, plus court costs, fees and other relief the court deems just.

He also believes Mannon Oil and F.E. Moran Oil Company may have played a role in his injuries and is asking they provide appropriate discovery.

Eric C. Young and Robert J. Bassett of Donovan, Rose, Nester and Joley in Belleville and Stephen H. Thomas of Gerling Law Offices in Evansville will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-406.

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