DIANA GODINES, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF AMANDO GODINES, SR., DECEASED; MICHAEL GODINES; AMANDO GODINES, JR.; AND DEANNA QUITUGUA, Appellants
PRECISION DRILLING COMPANY, L.P., Appellee
Appeal from the 238th District Court Midland County, Texas
Trial Court Cause No. CV-52178
consists of: Willson, J., Bailey, J., and Wright, S.C.J.
the surviving spouse and children of Amando Godines, Sr.,
sued Precision Drilling Company, L.P., among others who are
not parties to this appeal, for wrongful death under
negligence and gross negligence theories. Precision answered
the suit and moved for summary judgment on traditional and
no-evidence grounds. Precision argued that (1) proof of its
status as a workers' compensation subscriber conclusively
barred the negligence claim and (2) Appellants produced no
evidence of gross negligence-no evidence of Precision's
awareness of the risk, of a vice principal's gross
negligence, or of proximate cause. The trial court granted
summary judgment for Precision, and on appeal, Appellants
raise four issues. We affirm.
Summary Judgment Evidence
worked with a trucking company, Briley Trucking, Ltd., to
move an oil and gas rig from one well site to another. At the
original well site, Briley sought approval from Precision to
transport the derrick using the "two-truck method,
" in which the derrick was only partially collapsed (or
"scoped in") and moved using two trucks. Because
the derrick dolly needed repairs, the two-truck method
provided Precision a way to move the rig more quickly.
Precision supervisors, Benjamin Franco and Salvador Ulloa,
raised concerns with the Briley "truck pusher" that
moving the derrick in this manner was dangerous. The Briley
truck pusher and Precision supervisors called Precision's
drilling superintendents, Roger Dean Moran and Roel Soza, to
discuss the move. After the Briley truck pusher told Moran
that he could perform the move safely, the superintendents
approved the two-truck method.
prepare the rig move, two tractor-trailers trucks were backed
up to one another. Briley and Precision partially collapsed
sections of the derrick and secured them using pins. The
derrick rested horizontally on both trailers, with one truck
facing forward and the other truck facing backwards. Briley
drove the rig over ten miles on a highway and rough lease
roads to the new well site.
the trucks arrived at the new well site, the suspension
equipment was not ready for the derrick. The Precision crew
was using the crane for tasks involved with building the
substructure of the rig. Precision and Briley supervisors
testified that they planned to finish the substructure, have
a "Job Safety Analysis" (JSA) meeting, and then
suspend the derrick with either the crane or the pole trucks.
The parties dispute whether a JSA meeting took place before
the crew "scoped in" the derrick at the original
well site, but the parties agree that no JSA meeting occurred
to discuss "scoping out" the derrick at the new
well site. The derrick remained on the tractor-trailers for
almost two hours while the Precision crew worked on the
point, the Briley truck pusher at the new well site had a
radio conversation about the status of the derrick, and he
walked toward the derrick to check the "diaper pins,
" which held the larger pins in place under the derrick.
The truck pusher testified that he picked up a sledgehammer
and was only going to remove the diaper pins, as opposed to
the larger pins, and that Godines insisted on removing the
diaper pins because it was his job. The truck pusher also
testified that Godines took the sledgehammer, but another
Precision crew member testified that the truck pusher gave it
to him. Other testimony also suggested that the Briley truck
pusher instructed Godines to remove the pins. In any event,
all Precision supervisors testified that the derrick was not
ready to scope out and that they did not instruct Godines to
check the pins.
was fatally injured after he positioned himself underneath
the derrick and removed one of the load-bearing pins. After
Godines removed the pin, the remaining pin sheared off and
the derrick collapsed on top of him.
appeal, Appellants' first issue is a global issue, which
asks whether the trial court erred when it granted summary
judgment. In the second issue, Appellants assert that the
trial court erred when it considered late-filed evidence.
Third, Appellants argue that the evidence precludes summary
judgment on no-evidence grounds. Finally, Appellants argue
that Precision failed to meet its burden on traditional
first consider Appellants' second and fourth issues
concerning the late-filed summary judgment evidence and its
effect on the negligence claim. Then we consider the first
and third issues related to the no-evidence summary judgment
on the gross negligence claim.
Issues Two and Four: The trial court did not abuse its
discretion when it granted leave to file the workers'
compensation policy late, and the exclusive remedy provision
of the Texas Workers' Compensation Act bars
Appellants' negligence claim.
their second issue, Appellants argue that the trial court
improperly considered Precision's late-filed summary
judgment evidence. Because of that, in their fourth issue,
Appellants assert that Precision failed to conclusively
establish that it was covered by workers' compensation
insurance and that the exclusive remedies provision barred
their negligence claim.