Worker sues WPX over injuries after fall into wellhead

Plaintiff seeks unspecified damages for personal injury, pain and suffering and lost wages

Joshua Kellogg
  • Former field operator Victor Munoz is accusing the company of failing to properly maintain equipment.
  • Munoz says he was injured on the job in August 2015, when he fell 5 feet into a wellhead.

FARMINGTON — A former field operator filed a lawsuit against WPX Energy alleging he suffered injuries after falling into a well because of improperly maintained equipment.

Victor Munoz filed the personal injury lawsuit in district court April 21 seeking unspecified damages for claims including personal injury, pain and suffering, lost wages, permanent injury and emotional distress, according to court documents.

Munoz, a Baker Hughes employee at the time, was working at a job site in Bloomfield owned by WPX Energy on Aug. 16, 2015, when he claims an improperly maintained wellhead led him to fall into the well and suffer serious bodily injuries.

The lawsuit states WPX Energy and an unidentified WPX employee failed to properly maintain the well head and warn of its "dangerous condition."

A spokesman for WPX Energy declined comment, saying the company had not been served with the lawsuit.

Michael Duran, Munoz's Albuquerque-based attorney, said his client fell about 5 feet and suffered back injuries. Duran declined to describe the full extent of his client's injuries.

According to the complaint, Munoz has incurred medical expenses for therapy, treatment and medication for his injuries.

It continues by stating Munoz "has experienced a diminishment of his ability of function normally" at family, recreational, household and social activities.

Munoz also alleges negligence of the unidentified WPX employee, saying the defendant operated a crane in a negligent and careless matter, according to court documents.

Duran said Munoz is still seeking treatment for his injuries and is trying to get back to work.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.