Bakken Oil Fields Called "Serial Killer"

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, contact us.

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