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Jury awards $27 million in damages against Talos for wrongful death on platform

Updated: Feb 8

This suit arises from the death of Walter Jackson in an accident on February 17, 2018. Jackson was employed as a rigger by DLS, LLC (“DLS”) on the WC-215, an oil and gas production platform owned and operated by Talos ERT, LLC (“Talos”) and situated

on the Outer Continental Shelf off the coast of Louisiana. A publicly available copy of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE)'s investigative report can be viewed through the following link:

Jackson’s surviving spouse and the guardian of his minor child filed a lawsuit against Talos alleging Jackson and other employees were attempting to lower sections of pipe that were to be removed from the platform when one of the sections came loose and struck Jackson, resulting in his death.

Talos filed for summary judgment asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit against it asserting that it had an independent contractor relationship with Jackson’s employer DLS and that undisputed facts showed no basis for liability against Talos.

The court disagreed with Talos and denied the motion. The court pointed to the testimony of Talos’s compliance manager where he agreed that there was no way for workers like Jackson to retrieve the cut sections of pipe other than by entering into a barricaded/safe landing area. Talos’ corporate representative agreed that, had the Pre-job Safety Analysis (JSA) identified the landing zone for the pipe sections as a no-go zone, the accident likely would never have occurred. Based on this , the court concluded that the plaintiffs met their burden of providing significant probative evidence as to whether Talos was vicariously liable. So the plaintiffs were allowed to try their case to a jury.

The case was tried in Louisiana federal court for a week and a half. The jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiffs totaling $27,708,030. The jury allocated 88% fault to Talos and 12% fault to DLS. Below is a breakdown of the award:

Plaintiff Anika Warner on behalf of her minor son Yanni Jackson

  • Loss of Past Financial Support $40,000

  • Loss of Future Financial Support to age 18 $80,000

  • Loss of Love, Affection, and Companionship $10 million

  • Past Mental anguish $5 million

  • Future Mental Anguish $5 million

Total $20,120,000

Plaintiff Vantrece Jackson as surviving spouse

  • Loss Past Wages $186,407

  • Loss of Future Wages $568,266

  • Loss of Household Services $233,257

  • Loss of Love, Affection, and Companionship $4 million

  • Past Mental Anguish $1.5 million

  • Future Mental Anguish $1.1 million

Total $7,588,030

A copy of the jury verdict form can be downloaded from the following link:

Warner v. Talos Jury Verdict
Download PDF • 212KB

Please feel free to reach out at or (504) 553-1435 if you have any questions or would like to discuss.


Adam Davis

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