May 25, 2010 – The Gulf Coast oil spill has dominated the media for over a month now, but the majority of the coverage has focused solely on the environmental impact and who’s to blame for the catastrophe. The mainstream media has largely failed to talk about the many vulnerable populations that will be affected by the disaster – including the workers and volunteers involved in the cleanup effort who come into contact with a broad array of toxic and carcinogenic substances that make up the oil and dispersants.
There are currently an estimated 27,500 responders and volunteers involved in the cleanup effort. In performing their duties, workers and volunteers may come in direct contact with toxic chemicals and fumes. Additionally, boats belonging to fishermen and other locals who are aiding in the cleanup through the Vessels of Opportunity program may become contaminated.
Another big question that remains to be seen is whether protective gear is available to these individuals, and who is going to pay for it. Questions have also been raised as to the funding and implementation of monitoring long-term health issues.
In these cases, it’s difficult to learn from past catastrophes like the Exxon Valdez spill because health information is often kept quiet because of court settlements. It is widely rumored that the people who got the sickest and won against Exxon got settlements that required the records be sealed.
Mike Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, has called out BP for their attempt to minimize the catastrophe: “BP… is running an expensive public relations campaign in an attempt to mask the full extent of the damage in the Gulf and minimize their accountability. Anyone who is here in the Gulf, talking to residents and seeing the oil on the water, knows that the impacts of this disaster can’t be minimized. BP needs to be accountable for every penny of the response effort and for every job lost.”
Do I have an Oil Spill Lawsuit?
The Environmental Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus exclusively on the representation of plaintiffs in environmental catastrophe lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation throughout the Gulf Coast and currently accepting new oil spill cases in all affected states.
If you or somebody you know has suffered an economic loss related to your Gulf Coast business or coastal property, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing an oil spill lawsuit and we can help. We are currently accepting cases and/or claims in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.