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Sayers V. International Drilling Notes

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SAYERS V. INTERNATIONAL DRILLING FACTS Mr. Sayers is a Yorkshireman whose home is at 12 Lease Mires Avenue, Easingwold, Yorkshire. He is a highly skilled worker on oil drilling rigs. One of the big companies who drill for oil is the Offshore Company of Houston, Texas. They have subsidiaries in many parts of the world. One of them is an English company, the International Drilling Co. Ltd., which has its head office in London and has drilling rigs in the North Sea. Another subsidiary is a Dutch company, the International Drilling Co. N.V., which has its head office at The Hague and has drilling rigs in various parts of the world. The Dutch company has a London representative in the office of the English company. In 1967 Mr. Sayers was working for the English company at drilling rigs in the North Sea. He was based at Great Yarmouth. The local man there of the English company was Mr. Swift. The Dutch company wanted to recruit men to go out to Nigeria to work on a drilling rig off the Nigerian coast. They got Mr. Swift at Great Yarmouth to approach men there. One of these men was Mr. Sayers. He agreed to go to Nigeria. On September 4, 1967, at Great Yarmouth he signed an application form which was accepted by Mr. Swift on behalf of the Dutch company. Under it he was employed as a derrickman at a pay of
PS120 a month and a bonus of PS35 a month, together with a rig allowance of PS2 a day when actually on the rig. The agreement contained a provision stating that in case of accidents to a man, the company had a "Disability Compensation Program" and it gave particulars. The agreement however contains this important exempting clause (clause 8): "In consideration of having this Program maintained for me, I hereby agree that, in the event I am accidentally injured or sustain disability of any kind during my employment with the company, I will accept those benefits to which I may be entitled under the Compensation Program as my exclusive remedy in lieu of any other claims, rights, demands, or actions, whether at common law or under the statutes of United Kingdom, or any other nation, which may accrue to me by virtue of such accidental injury..." On October 4, 1967, Mr. Sayers flew out to Nigeria and started work. Just over two weeks later, on October 20, he was injured in an accident. He was on the drilling rig engaged in "unstringing." Some of his fellow employees were negligent. They pulled on a rope too soon and caused Mr. Sayers' foot to be entangled in a rope.

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