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The Times: Dead worker's partner sues Shell for damages

Times Online May 12, 2006

Dead worker's partner sues Shell for damages

By Michael Herman

The former partner of a man killed while working on a Shell oil platform is suing the Anglo-Dutch energy giant in an £800,000 joint damages claim.


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Jacqueline Ogilvie, who was due to marry Keith Moncrieff at the time of his death in September 2003, has today filed a lawsuit against Wood Group, Mr Moncrieff’s former employer, and Shell, owner of the North Sea oil platform he was working on when he died.

George Clark, managing director of Quantum Claims, a specialist compensation firm representing Mrs Ogilvie, said his client has accused Shell of “negligence” that led to financial losses for her and her two daughters.

He said: “Mrs Ogilvie believes the two defendants have breached certain statutory duties and, accordingly, she is entitled to recovery.”

Mrs Ogilvie is seeking a combined £800,000 from Wood Group and Shell. Joint claims specify a total figure and do not state how much they expect each defendant to pay.

Both  Shell and Wood Group declined to comment on the case. 

Mr Clark said the case was at a very early stage and could be settled out of court.

Claimants often launch damages claims in the hope the defendant will seek to avoid the negative publicity associated with a trial by offering to pay damages as part of an out of court settlement.

Last year Shell was fined £900,000 after admitting three health and safety breaches relating to Mr Moncrieff’s death in a high-profile criminal lawsuit brought by the Scottish Crown.

Greg Hill, production director for Shell Exploration and Production Europe, the department responsible for the oil platform said the company felt “100% responsible” for the death.

Mr Moncrieff, 45, and fellow worker Sean McCue, 22, died after being overcome with gas which leaked from a faulty valve on Shell’s Brent Bravo oil platform in the North Sea.

A separate Fatal Accident Inquiry over the deaths at Aberdeen Sheriff Court ended earlier this year. The court is expected to publish its judgement this month.

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