Noble Drilling Co. v. Drake, No. 86-4140

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore WISDOM, DAVIS and JONES; PER CURIAM
Citation795 F.2d 478
Docket NumberNo. 86-4140
Decision Date28 July 1986
PartiesNOBLE DRILLING COMPANY and Crawford & Company, Inc., Petitioners, v. Kathy DRAKE, Claimant, and U.S. Department of Labor, Benefits Review Board, Respondents.

Page 478

795 F.2d 478
1988 A.M.C. 606
NOBLE DRILLING COMPANY and Crawford & Company, Inc., Petitioners,
v.
Kathy DRAKE, Claimant, and U.S. Department of Labor,
Benefits Review Board, Respondents.
No. 86-4140.
United States Court of Appeals,
Fifth Circuit.
July 28, 1986.

Page 480

Mark J. Spansel, Joseph B. Guilbeau, New Orleans, La., for petitioners.

Joshua T. Gillelan, II, Atty., U.S. Dept. of Labor, Washington, D.C., Dawn Barrios, Carl W. Cleveland, New Orleans, La., for respondents.

Linda M. Meekins, Clerk, Dept. of Labor, Benefit Review Bd., Washington, D.C., for other interested parties.

Petition for Review of an order of the Benefits Review Board.

Before WISDOM, DAVIS and JONES, Circuit Judges.

PER CURIAM:

The question presented in this appeal of a compensation award under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act is whether the record supports the determination that Phillip Drake's death was causally related to his employment. We conclude that the award is supported by substantial evidence and affirm.

I.

The facts are essentially undisputed. In October 1982, Phillip Drake was employed by Noble Drilling Company as a safety training coordinator. He had held this job for approximately five months, before which he had worked for Noble on various other, more strenuous, jobs for approximately four years. Drake's new position entailed extensive travel by helicopter to offshore drilling rigs where he inspected the rigs, showed safety films and spoke to groups of employees on subjects related to safety. The Administrative Law Judge found it likely that Drake was subjected to some stress in his employment associated with riding helicopters to work, speaking to groups of fellow employees and generally from the uncertainty related to beginning a new job.

On October 6, 1982, Mr. Drake took a twenty-minute helicopter ride to a drilling rig. Approximately thirty minutes after his arrival he began complaining of headaches; a few minutes later he became incoherent and suffered convulsions. Mr. Drake was transported by helicopter to a hospital where he arrived comatose. He died six days later without regaining consciousness. A CT scan of the brain indicated a severe left intracerebral and intraventricular hemorrhage, the cause of which was apparently a ruptured aneurysm.

Three physicians gave opinions to the ALJ. Dr. Carl F. Culicchia, a neurosurgeon, was one of the physicians who treated Mr. Drake during the six days immediately before his death. Dr. Culicchia concluded that Mr. Drake sustained a ruptured aneurysm which, in his opinion, was unrelated to occupational stress or other job hazards. Dr. Carl J. Dicharry, a cardiovascular specialist, examined the hospital records and reviewed the facts that transpired immediately before Mr. Drake's onset of symptoms and concluded that he could not associate the stress of decedent's work to the intracranial hemorrhage he sustained. Dr. William T. Garland, a cardiologist also reviewed Mr. Drake's medical and employment records, and the series of events that preceded Mr. Drake's collapse on the job. Dr. Garland testified that decedent probably suffered an aneurysm related to a congenital defect in a blood vessel of the brain. Dr. Garland testified that it was possible that decedent experienced job related stress which increased his blood pressure enough to contribute to the rupture of the aneurysm. The Administrative Law Judge found that Mr. Drake's death was compensable and this...

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31 practice notes
  • U.S. Steel Corp. v. Astrue, No. 06-15255.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Eleventh Circuit
    • August 15, 2007
    ...Conoco, Inc. v. Dir., Office of Worker's Comp. Programs, 194 F.3d 684, 690 (5th Cir.1999) (quoting Noble Drilling Co. v. Drake, 795 F.2d 478, 481 (5th Cir.1986)) (abrogated on other grounds by Dir., Office of Workers' Comp. Programs v. Greenwich Collieries, 512 U.S. 267, 114 S.Ct. 2251, 129......
  • Greenwich Collieries v. Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, No. 92-3270
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Third Circuit
    • March 23, 1993
    ...because the intent of the statute is to place the burden of possible error on those best able to bear it." Noble Drilling Co. v. Drake, 795 F.2d 478, 481 (5th Cir.1986). In effect, the statute eases the ordinary preponderance of the evidence standard applicable in most civil suits. Avondale......
  • Brown v. Glob. Integrated Sec., BRB 20-0435
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Longshore Complaints
    • September 24, 2021
    ...accident occurred or that working conditions existed which could have caused or aggravated the harm. See Noble Drilling Co. v. Drake, 795 F.2d 478, 19 BRBS 6(CRT) (5th Cir. 1986); see generally U.S. Industries/Federal Sheet Metal, Inc. v. Director, OWCP, 455 U.S. 608, 14 BRBS 631 (1982). Cl......
  • Taft v. Lockheed Martin Corp., BRB 18-0006
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Longshore Complaints
    • September 18, 2018
    ...accident occurred or that working conditions existed which could have caused or aggravated the harm. See Noble Drilling Co. v. Drake, 795 F.2d 478, 19 BRBS 6(CRT) (5th Cir. 1986); see generally U.S. Industries/Federal Sheet Metal, Inc. v. Director, OWCP, 455 U.S. 608, 14 BRBS 631 (1982). On......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
31 cases
  • U.S. Steel Corp. v. Astrue, No. 06-15255.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Eleventh Circuit
    • August 15, 2007
    ...Conoco, Inc. v. Dir., Office of Worker's Comp. Programs, 194 F.3d 684, 690 (5th Cir.1999) (quoting Noble Drilling Co. v. Drake, 795 F.2d 478, 481 (5th Cir.1986)) (abrogated on other grounds by Dir., Office of Workers' Comp. Programs v. Greenwich Collieries, 512 U.S. 267, 114 S.Ct. 2251, 129......
  • Greenwich Collieries v. Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, No. 92-3270
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Third Circuit
    • March 23, 1993
    ...because the intent of the statute is to place the burden of possible error on those best able to bear it." Noble Drilling Co. v. Drake, 795 F.2d 478, 481 (5th Cir.1986). In effect, the statute eases the ordinary preponderance of the evidence standard applicable in most civil suits. Avondale......
  • Brown v. Glob. Integrated Sec., BRB 20-0435
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Longshore Complaints
    • September 24, 2021
    ...accident occurred or that working conditions existed which could have caused or aggravated the harm. See Noble Drilling Co. v. Drake, 795 F.2d 478, 19 BRBS 6(CRT) (5th Cir. 1986); see generally U.S. Industries/Federal Sheet Metal, Inc. v. Director, OWCP, 455 U.S. 608, 14 BRBS 631 (1982). Cl......
  • Taft v. Lockheed Martin Corp., BRB 18-0006
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Longshore Complaints
    • September 18, 2018
    ...accident occurred or that working conditions existed which could have caused or aggravated the harm. See Noble Drilling Co. v. Drake, 795 F.2d 478, 19 BRBS 6(CRT) (5th Cir. 1986); see generally U.S. Industries/Federal Sheet Metal, Inc. v. Director, OWCP, 455 U.S. 608, 14 BRBS 631 (1982). On......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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