CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas—Ricardo Jazael Loredo Padron, 29, died tragically on October 1, 2022, after falling off an oil rig into the water below. The fatal accident occurred inside the La Quinta ship channel near Ingleside. Reportedly, Padron never resurfaced, and workers on the Kiewit oil rig filed a missing person report shortly after.
The U.S. Coast Guard and the Aransas Pass Police Marine Division initiated a search and rescue operation and eventually found Padron’s body around 5:30 p.m. on October 1. Officials report that Padron was wearing a personal flotation device that failed to deploy in the water, likely contributing to Padron’s death.
Multiple authorities, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), continue investigating the accident. No further details have been reported.
The employer and the manufacturer of the flotation device may share in the responsibility for this man’s death
Because this accident happened on an oil rig off the coast of Texas, OSHA is involved in investigating whether the workplace was safe in the first place. However, further investigation may determine that multiple parties are responsible for Padron’s death. In the meantime, Padron’s family should not be barred from conducting their own independent investigation or bringing a suit to court.
I think that it is important to realize that the purpose of personal injury law is not to seek people out and get them in trouble. The sudden passing of a loved one causes serious harm to the surviving family’s lives, and that harm should not be compounded by financial difficulty. In fact, the family should be granted the opportunity to grieve without any financial worry. Additionally, those responsible for the wrongful death should stand and answer for their actions to prevent the same actions from being repeated. Human nature often requires consequences before changes occur. When dealing with corporate actions, that consequence is often monetary.
It is clear that workplace accidents should not happen, and when they do, it is often due to an oversite in corporate safety at some level. This needs to be investigated and any oversite identified to prevent accidents like this one from happening again in the future.
Additionally, a likely factor contributing to Padron’s death was that his personal flotation device failed to deploy. This might be worth further investigation since Padron’s family may recover against the manufacturer if the device proves to be defective. Indeed, manufacturers of life-saving devices must ensure their products undergo rigorous quality control checks and perform as designed in emergency situations.
For more reasons than simply fact-finding, this accident should be thoroughly investigated. We must strive to get to the bottom of what happened here so that this kind of tragic workplace accident never happens again. Most importantly, the grieving family of Ricardo Padron need answers so they may begin to rebuild their lives after such an incredible loss.