By June, 2015, the death toll on the Bakken oil fields had risen to 74,
leading Politico Magazine to label the oil fields a "serial killer."
The label might be right. Since the beginning of the reccent boom,
Bakken has claimed a life, on average, once every six weeks. Many of those who
are killed are young men working in the oil fields for the first time,
unfamiliar with the risk of oil field accidents, or just young enough
and hungry enough for success that they risk it anyway.
The article further argues that the death toll at Bakken may be even higher
because the federal regulators in charge with overseeing job safety in
the oil fields do not have a comprehensive system for recording deaths
in the oil and gas industry.
The figures, compiled in part by the Center for Investigative Reporting,
are believed to be the first attempt at accounting for the human cost
of cheap gas. The accusation is that oil and gas companies shroud themselves
from responsibility and settlements for the victims' families, by
creating webs of holding companies and subsidiaries.
Proving who was responsible for an injury or death in the Bakken oil fields
is often left to the survivors who have to try to piece together the information
from the testimony of witnesses who might still rely on the same oil company
for their livelihood.
At Odegaard Braukmann Law, we specialize in unweaving the corporate webs
that try to mask responsibility and getting workers what they deserve.
If someone you love has been injured or killed working at Bakken,