Beaudoin v. Texaco, Inc.
United States District Court for the District of North Dakota
653 F. Supp. 512 (1987)
Mark Beaudoin (plaintiff) was an employee of Wood Wireline (Wireline). Texaco, Inc. (Texaco) (defendant) hired Wireline to conduct a pressure gradient check at one of Texaco’s oil wells in North Dakota. Beaudoin and a co-worker arrived at the Texaco site before dawn. No artificial lights were erected to aid the workers. Beaudoin began uncoiling wire from a large spool when he was struck in the eye by the end of the wire. As a result, Beaudoin became legally blind in one eye. A Texaco employee instructed to supervise the work arrived after the incident occurred. Beaudoin filed a negligence suit in federal district court against Texaco. Beaudoin argued that Texaco had acted negligently in requiring the work to be performed in the dark without the aid of lights and in failing to supervise the work properly. Texaco claimed that Beaudoin was negligent in handling the wire. Wireline was immune from liability under North Dakota law and was not a named defendant. The jury found damages of over $44,000 and apportioned the negligence among the parties, namely 60 percent to Wireline, 30 percent to Beaudoin, and 10 percent to Texaco. The issue before the court is how to render a judgment.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Van Sickle, J.)
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