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Lawyers with Houston-based Heard Law Firm achieved a settlement for an offshore pipeline technician who was blown into the air, suffering back injuries and burns in an explosion on an oil and gas production platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

Donald Champion who lives near Lake Charles, Louisiana, was working on the Garden Banks Gas Pipeline owned by Enbridge Offshore LLC more than 100 miles south of New Orleans. In November 2017, an explosion caused by equipment failure knocked him through the air into a stack of pipe, injuring his back and leaving him with serious burns to his face, arms and hands.

In addition to the treatment for his burns, Mr. Champion underwent back surgery and may require more operations in the future.

“It’s taking me quite a while to try to get my life back,” Mr. Champion said. “My lawyers not only supported me in my lawsuit, but also were always there for emotional support.”

Mr. Champion continues to need physical therapy and help coping with post-traumatic stress disorder including recurring nightmares. A highly trained and well-paid technician who had worked on that particular production platform for six years, he will never be able to work offshore again.

“We cannot put Donnie’s life back together for him, but we are pleased we were able to help him move forward in a relatively short period of time,” said Denman Heard of Heard Law Firm. He and Derek Merman represented the injured technician in his claim.

The case was closed on May 8, 2019. The case is Donald Champion v. Garden Banks Gas Pipeline LLC, Enbridge Offshore (Gas Gathering) LLC and Enbridge Offshore (Gas Transmission) LLC, Case No. 18-8217, in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Heard Law Firm

Our skilled trial lawyers are dedicated to providing our clients with the powerful representation needed to achieve the best possible results. We handle cases involving catastrophic injuries and wrongful deaths in the oil fields and offshore, on construction sites, from vehicle crashes, and from dangerous medical devices, pharmaceuticals, mesothelioma, chemical and toxic exposures. We also handle a wide variety of business disputes. For more information, visit

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