Category Archives: deepwater horizon claims

Discrimination in the Gulf: BP and the EEOC

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The situation in the Gulf Coast region is bad enough; this past month, however, British Petroleum (BP) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found itself in the middle of a discrimination lawsuit. Certain women from the Gulf Coast states that applied for volunteer cleanup work for BP in the disaster region were denied employment on the basis of gender discrimination. BP claims that it did not discriminate against the female applicants, but has agreed to pay $5.4 million in discrimination money to female applicants who applied for jobs and were denied employment.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission honors equality and civil rights for all, whether male or female. With its name giving away the organization’s goal, the EEOC applauded British Petroleum for its commitment to eliminating any form of discrimination in its employment practices.

The British national company is under the gun for its role in the Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Testimony from former engineers and even FBI agents reveal that British Petroleum knew more about the number of oil barrels spilled in the Gulf and hid the real disaster from the government.

Volunteer workers have been called for since the oil spill recovery started. Cleanup workers get paid more for their work in the Gulf Coast area than most McDonald’s workers make. BP has also promised to cover the medical expenses of cleanup workers who later turn ill—whether immediately after their cleanup efforts or later in life. According to the back-end litigation promise of the BP settlement, should a cleanup worker find himself or herself to be sick, he or she can return to court and sue the British national company, regardless of whether the company’s oil spill caused the sickness directly or not.

Contrary to what many may think, women are still discriminated against in the United States. According to some research done earlier this year, the results suggest that women are still underpaid compared to men. Homosexuals still fight for their freedoms in this country, as they have now been denied the right to marry by those who do not accept homosexuality as a practice—whether for religious or personal reasons.

If you are a woman who has applied to work in the Gulf Coast area as a volunteer cleanup worker, and you were denied employment, contact an experienced BP oil spill attorney as well as a civil rights lawyer. You want to make sure that you get compensated for the discrimination you have faced. Equality is one of the founding principles of this country, and, as an American citizen, you have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” found in America’s Declaration of Independence.

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Kurt Mix Gets His Wish: BP Forced to Release Needed Documents

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Kurt Mix, a former British Petroleum engineer, got his wish in court on June 27, 2012. Mix was accused of deleting some 200 text messages and hiding them from investigators who could use them in the case against BP for the company’s role in the 2010 oil spill. He claimed at the time that all parties involved were aware of the nature of the text messages, that he complied with proper standards and made British Petroleum aware of the problems with the Deepwater Horizon oil rig prior to the Gulf Coast oil spill. The British company, however, refused to hand over documents that could free Mix from a prison sentence, since those documents contained evidence that could implicate the oil giant even further than before—and add $2.6 billion extra to an already hefty sum for damages from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Now, the British oil giant will be forced to cough up the documents that could free Kurt Mix from what could be a nasty prison sentence. Kurt Mix claims that he has been forthcoming with proper information to his former company, both in his emails and text messages. According to Mix, he alerted BP as to the problems with the spill, such as the amount of oil spill that occurred each day and the problems with the oil rig that started the explosion on April 20, 2010 (the date of the BP oil spill).

Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. ruled in favor of Mix but will allow the documents to be seen under protective circumstances; while Mix will be allowed to view and use the documents, there will be no arrests or investigations made based on the evidence in the document. The material will only be used to aid Kurt Mix in his own defense and trial. Barbara O’Donnell, an FBI special agent, claims that the documents reveal more than just Mix’s compliance; they also reveal British Petroleum’s knowledge about the number of oil barrels spilling in the Gulf each day. The number of oil barrels spilling, as recorded by the paperwork, does not match the story that the British oil giant told the federal government about the number of oil barrels spilling in the Gulf.

Apparently, O’Donnell’s statement only confirms what many believe about the company: they choose to hide information from the public in order to avoid paying more money for their crimes. The company values $2.6 billion extra so much that it cares little for their wrongdoing and has not given thought to the consequences it must face as a result. What the company has failed to realize, however, is that, by hiding, the company confirms its wrongdoing and justifies consumer suspicions about the company. If the company is being completely honest with the federal government, why is it withholding evidence?

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Why The Restore Act Needs to Be Passed Quickly

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The 2010 oil spill set into motion damages (financial, environmental, and medical) that it will take years to repair (if repair is even possible). The Restore Act that is currently in Congress needs to be passed before the federal government negotiates a settlement with British Petroleum, but is tied up in a transportation bill that is causing tension between the House and the Senate. Steve Scalise, the sponsor of the Restore Act, wants to find another way to pass the Act if Congress cannot reach an agreement on the matter by June 30.

The Restore Act is a bill that, if signed, would “restore” the Gulf Coast states of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Texas. The Clean Water Act will mandate some $5million to $18 million in damage money from BP for the Gulf Coast oil spill. The Restore Act would allot eighty percent of the funds raised from the Clean Water Act towards coastal restoration in the Gulf. The Senate portion of the bill aims for Land and Water Conservation, an issue opposed by Republicans (who hold the majority in the House). In the Senate, the Keystone Pipeline is at odds with the Democrats, who hold the majority there.

The Gulf Coast states need all the money they can get. They were greatly impacted by the 2010 oil spill that never had to happen. Negligence is what caused it, but Gulf Coast residents were affected in numerous ways. British Petroleum will pay billions of dollars in damages for its intentional role in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, but the environment took a hard hit that only time can repair.

The House and Senate must put aside their differences and vote on this bill with the Gulf Coast residents in mind. Sometimes, it is interesting how politics is placed above need. We understand that there are times when political battles are necessary; however, let us not forget that, while we sit by our televisions, recline in our lazy boy chairs in ease, and eat nice, warm meals, many Gulf Coast residents are sick, in and out of emergency rooms, suffer from various illnesses, and mourn the loss of their loved ones. The need to place residents back on their feet should come first, not politics.

If politics is truly to make a difference in this country, politicians will have to learn when, where, and how to use political debate. Please, let politics keep the country from making immoral decisions; however, let us not keep the country from recovery because of personal agenda. Let us think of BP oil spill attorneys who only have their clients in mind. The victims are of first priority. Put the oil spill victims first.

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Ken Salazar Promises BP Fine Money for Restoration Projects

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In the two years since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that occurred in April of 2010, a great deal of damage has been done to the environment and economy of the Gulf region, and a great deal has been done to compensate for that damage and restore the region to what it was before the accident occurred. During a recent tour of the Gulf coast, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar indicated once again that it is the intention of the Obama administration to direct a large portion of any fines received from BP Oil Company as restitution for negligence and liability in the oil spill will go directly to pay for coastal restoration and repairs.

BP Oil Company has already set aside over $20 billion dollars in monies to be used to pay for clean-up efforts, restoration, and compensation for economic losses. They recently entered into an agreement with plaintiffs’ attorneys that will compensate individuals and businesses for damage and losses to income, property and business revenues, as well as a separate settlement agreement that establishes compensation for medical conditions, whether chronic or acute. BP has committed to invest in restoration projects to help repair environmental damages done to the waters, beaches and wetlands ranging from Texas to Florida that were most impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and they are still anticipating either a settlement or a legal battles with the federal government investigating liability and damages from their immediate response to the oil spill disaster and the cause of the disaster itself.

The fines and penalties that are anticipated to come from BP Oil’s litigation with the federal government are anticipated to represent at least $18 billion more dollars, although BP has indicated that it would like to settle for less than $15 billion dollars. In the meantime, the Deepwater Horizon Settlement Agreement that has already been approved is estimated to pay an eventual $7.8 billion to fishermen, property owners and business owners who were affected by the spill. If you are part of the economic class represented by the Deepwater Horizon Court Supervised Settlement Agreement and would like guidance or advice on how to proceed with your claim for damages that you have suffered, the experience that a qualified BP oil spill attorney can provide will ensure that you get the highest compensation that you are entitled to.

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Subsistence Claims included in Deepwater Horizon Settlement Agreement

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Included mong the different economic claims that can be submitted for compensation under the newly approved Deepwater Horizon Court Supervised Settlement agreement are subsistence claims. These are claims that compensate those who relied upon the natural resources of the Gulf of Mexico or the wetlands and beaches for sustenance, and who were prevented from doing so by the contamination by the oil spill and the subsequent clean-up efforts. Subsistence claims are different from claims having to do with income, revenue or property because they specifically have to do with the fact that the oil spill resulted in an inability to feed oneself or one’s community because the food source was no longer available. When the Deepwater Horizon oil spill first took place and President Barack Obama set up the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, over 16,000 subsistence claims were filed by members of local Native American tribes and Vietnamese fishermen, who not only use a large portion of their commercial catches to feed themselves and their families, but also to use as barter rather than to sell directly. Additionally, many of the claims that were submitted were from recreational fishermen who claimed damaged caused by the loss of enjoyment due to the oil spill. These claims were not honored by the GCCF and will not be honored under the Deepwater Horizon settlement agreement either, but claims that can prove the loss of food, shelter, tools or similar needs based on the loss of natural resources caused by the oil spill will be compensated.

The claims process for filing a subsistence claim under the Deepwater Horizon settlement agreement requires the person filing the BP oil spill claim to present detailed information showing what type of fish or game they had relied upon, exactly where they had hunted or fished prior to the BP oil spill, information on how many people in their extended family or community they were responsible for and what their relationships were, and a great deal more information. It requires a calculation of percentage of amount of catch that was used for subsistence, and in some cases the claims need to be supported by a local visit or inspection. In order to make sure that you have the best possible outcome when filing a subsistence claim in the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill settlement, make sure that you fully understand what you are entitled to by consulting an experienced BP oil spill attorney.

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U. S. Government not required to Provide BP with Emails

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Two years after the oil spill that sent millions of gallons of crude gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, the BP Oil Company has been handed a disappointing ruling by a federal judge. BP is currently preparing to defend itself against criminal and negligence lawsuits that have been filed by the United States government as well as by the states of Louisiana and Alabama. The case is expected to go to trial early in the year 2013 unless it is settled out of court. BP recently reached a settlement agreement with plaintiffs’ attorneys for the resolution of claims filed for economic and financial damages to businesses and individuals in the region, as well as for medical claims submitted by clean-up workers and Gulf coast residents who may have been harmed by either exposure to the oil or the chemical dispersants that were used in the clean-up efforts.

BP had pressed to have twenty one emails representing internal government correspondence provided to them as part of their discovery process, but the administration resisted their efforts, saying that the information was privileged. They argued that internal correspondence within the government needed to be sent with an assumption of privacy, and that turning over the documents would have a negative impact on the efficiency of future crisis management as people hesitated or held back due to fears of their emails being read at a later time.

BP is being sued by the U.S. government following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which was the largest oil spill disaster in the country’s history. It fouled the waters and beaches, causing enormous environmental damage and economic damage to the economy of the region. Although there has been talk about the two sides reaching a settlement, fears that BP wants to limit a settlement payout to under $15 billion dollars are causing concerns that the case may actually go to trial. The Deepwater Horizon Settlement agreement that received preliminary approval in May is expected to represent approximately $7.8 billion dollars in compensation payments to victims of the BP oil spill, although no cap has been placed on the total amount that may be paid to class action members. Those who have been damaged by the BP oil spill will be watching the proceedings between the government and BP carefully; if BP is proven negligent it may represent the possibility of future litigation.

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Deepwater Horizon Claims can be Filed in Person or Online

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In an effort to simplify the oil spill claims process that has been established under the terms of the newly approved Deepwater Horizon Court Supervised Settlement Agreement, claimants who have suffered economic or financial damage that falls under a number of different categories are able to file their claims in person, or online. The settlement agreement was reached between BP Oil Company and a group of attorneys representing thousands of plaintiffs who are seeking compensation for the damages and financial losses that they suffered as a result of the oil spill of April 2010. In the two years since the catastrophic explosion and fire that sent millions of gallons of crude oil gushing into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility was the only way that those who were affected by the oil spill could collect compensation. Many complained that the administrators were slow and that the amounts that they were dispensing seemed subjective; they were also accused of working on behalf of BP oil instead of in the better interests of the victims of the oil spill.

Under the terms of the new settlement agreement, there have been eighteen different centers established in locales that are convenient to the residents of the Gulf region who were most impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and for those who have a hard time getting to the local administrative offices, claims can be downloaded and filed online. The administrator of the court supervised program has promised a fast and easy process that is designed to get funds to the victims as quickly as possible, and he is urging that everybody file a claim for anything that they might be eligible for. He has indicated that the staff of the local centers and those who are reviewing claims are not representing the oil company that was responsible for the oil spill and who is now paying the bills – instead they are representing the court and their job is to dispense the funds in the way that the court has ordered.

Although the system is reported to be simple, there are still many complexities involved in determining exactly who is eligible and what documentation is required. Many families may need to file more than one type of claim form or multiple forms for different family members. If you need help with filing for BP oil spill damages, then contact a qualified oil spill attorney for expert guidance.

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Deepwater Horizon Settlement Administrator Urges People to File Claims

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In the days immediately following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform, the subsequent fire, and the news of oil gushing from a well five thousand feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, President Barack Obama established the Gulf Coast Claims Facility in order to immediately provide the residents of the Gulf with a way to receive compensation for their losses and expenses related to the BP oil spill. Despite the best of efforts and intentions, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility was seen as slow and unresponsive by BP oil spill claimants, and there were many complaints about the subjectivity of the awards that it distributed.

Now that the Deepwater Horizon Court Supervised Settlement Process has been put into place, the new administrator is urging all individuals and businesses that may be eligible to collect damages from BP due to injury or economic hardship caused by the spill to go ahead and file a claim. Patrick Juneau is intent upon making sure that the process if friendly to all who submit claims forms, and says that the process will be much simpler because the settlement program has established clear cut rules and guidelines about who is and is not eligible to receive compensation and about exactly how much compensation they are able to provide. Unlike the loosely defined rules that the GCCF operated under, the court supervised program is working with a payment matrix that is completely predictable and straightforward. The eighteen centers that have been set up to process the variety of economic claims are all operating under the same rules, and it has been promised that if paperwork is in order and documentation is provided, the compensation will be sent out quickly and efficiently.

This is welcome news to the hundreds of thousands of people who were hurt financially by the BP oil spill. It is hoped that the filing process is not too difficult, but because there are so many individuals and businesses that are eligible to file more than one type of claim, it may be wise to seek some guidance from a BP oil spill attorney. They have both the knowledge and the experience to provide you with BP oil spill damages help, and to make sure that you will receive the maximum amount of compensation that you are owed as quickly as possible.

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