BP spill dispersants harmed cleanup crews, lawyers say


By Laurel Brubaker Calkins
Bloomberg News

BP Plc, its drilling partners and 11 contractors who made or applied chemical dispersants to attack the 2010 Gulf oil spill should compensate boat owners, cleanup crews and residents injured by contact with the toxic substances, lawyers suing the firms said.

Cleanup workers suffered health problems after accidentally touching or being sprayed with the dispersants, according to an amended master complaint filed in New Orleans federal court today as part of the oil-spill litigation consolidated there.

Boat owners were underpaid and vessels were damaged during work in BP’s post-spill remediation armada, according to the filing. Gulf coast residents and tourists are also suing over health problems they say were caused by inhaling fumes and touching the drifting oil and dispersants.

“Some of these diseases and conditions may be immediately evident, and others can appear months or years later,” according to the filing.

In addition to compensation for unpaid wages, bodily harm and property damage, the complaint seeks unspecified punitive damages from London-based BP and the other companies for reckless and negligent behavior. The suit also asks that BP be required to establish medical- and environmental-monitoring programs in affected parts of the Gulf coast.

Deepwater Horizon

More than 4.1 million barrels of crude spilled into the Gulf of Mexico after Transocean Ltd.’s Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank while drilling a BP well off the Louisiana coast last April. More than 1.8 million gallons of chemical dispersants were sprayed over or injected into Gulf waters to break up the oil, according to the complaint.

Units of Transocean, BP and BP’s co-owners in the well, Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Mitsui & Co., are named as defendants. Also named are Nalco Holding Co., which made the dispersants, and 10 companies hired to apply the chemicals to Gulf waters and shorelines.

Daren Beaudo, a BP spokesman, and Guy Cantwell, a Transocean spokesman, had no immediate comment. Teresa Coon, a spokeswoman for Naperville, Illinois-based Nalco, didn’t immediately return a telephone call seeking comment. John Christiansen, Anadarko’s spokesman, also didn’t immediately reply to a voice message.

3 Responses

  1. Tex says:

    Thanks for your advise Dr. Corexit. Your story did not make much sense, however. Sounds like gobbledygook.

  2. Judith Sager says:

    It’s not just about “boat owners” and if it was,, nobody was told how bad corexit is. But what about all of us who live here in the panhandle? How do we live in this area knowing this stuff is in our air? Our water basins? Anything and everything will be hit by this stuff. It’s in the air. Means airborn. So who’s going to pay for us all to move? We didn’t ask for BP to pore the worst dispersant they could find. They used corexit because they bought the company. So any clean up efforts using this life killing so-called clean up dispersant, is a money maker for BP. There were other choices for clean up efforts that are less harmful to the envirnment. But BP doesn’t own those companies. This whole thing is a big cover up. Most people believe that 1000 square miles of oil is just gone. No it is sitting in the ocean floor and broken into tiny particals all over the oceans now because all corexit does is break down the oil into smaller particals. It doesn’t eat it. In fact there is also a man-made virus put into this corexit to supposedly eat the oil. Nobody even knows what this man-made virus will do??? And don’t be naive enough to think this stuff will stay here in the gulf. Oceans travel just like rivers. And by hushing this up is only buying Bp a little profit time. That’s it TIME. They needed to really clean it. But they didn’t. And there is more oil leaking. Who knows for sure that it was actually stopped. I think we have Jeepers Creepers growing out there. And nobody knows what is going to happen. But whatever does?? Cannot be good.

  3. Tex says:

    “Boat owners were underpaid and vessels were damaged during work in BP’s post-spill remediation armada, according to the filing”.

    How could boat owners be underpaid? They were not forced to do the jobs were they? They worked according to contracts and had any damages paid for I assume. That’s how it normally works.

    I am convinced there were a very large number of boats and floating structures on the BP payroll even though they were not seaworthy and never left the dockside. That’s how it works during crisis.

    It’s all about extortion and La politics isn’t it?