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BP Medical Settlement Update
Immediately after the oil spill occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, efforts were made by BP to begin the cleanup process along beaches and shorelines. A sea-floor oil gusher continued to spew crude oil into the Gulf for 87 days until the leak was capped. In total, 210 million gallons of oil were dumped into the ocean due to BP’s negligence.
90,000 workers and over 7,000 vessels were assembled throughout the Gulf regions to begin containing, dispersing and removing the remaining oil and tar deposits in the summer of 2010.
The clean-up efforts utilized 1.84 million gallons of the dispersant COREXIT, which acted to emulsify oil deposits that would normally rise to the surface, leaving them suspended in the water and on the ocean floor. Many of those working on the spill did so without gloves, masks or any form of protection from the hazardous substances to which they were exposed.
A study performed in 2012 by the Georgia Institute of Technology later revealed that when COREXIT mixes with oil, it becomes 52-times more toxic.
COREXIT is banned in several European countries because it does not pass their laboratory toxicity tests and they feel it is unsafe for human exposure. The composition of COREXIT contains hazardous chemicals which are known carcinogens. If exposed, other chemicals which compose the dispersant can cause damage to red blood cells, the kidneys and the liver. Internal bleeding, blindness, and the buildup of chemicals in the flesh have also been witnessed. Some severe cases of exposure have led to death and many other debilitating conditions.
After only 3 years out from the spill, the long-term effects of exposure to crude oil and other dangerous dispersants are yet to be seen. To assist those who were exposed and became ill, BP created the BP Medical Settlement.
Current Status of the BP Medical Settlement
On January 11th 2013, the United States District Court in New Orleans granted final approval of the Medical Benefits Class Action Settlement Agreement. However, because two appeals were made to the settlement in February, no claims are being reviewed or paid out. In July, one of the appeals was dropped, but one is still being contested. Until this appeal is resolved affected individuals will not receive any financial or medical help from BP. The only move that has been made thus far is the Gulf Study, a research program sponsored by the US Government and BP to monitor the environment and individual health of those that were exposed to the oil and chemicals.
Why aren`t BP Medical Claims getting Paid
The remaining appeal was filed by Darrell Palmer, an Attorney from California with four clients out of Florida who suffered from exposure to the harsh chemicals. The Plaintiffs Steering Committee asked that a $50,000 bond be placed on Palmer which he would be forced to pay to continue the appeal. The judge placed that bond and Lawyer Theodore Frank paid it for Palmer and will continue the appeal in his place.
If the appeal is lifted, the BP Medical Settlement will have to start reviewing claims and paying the affected individuals. Some claimants can expect to receive up to $60,700 for damages they suffered. The conditions of the settlement would also allow them the right to litigate at a later date should any further spill-related medical conditions arise. Unfortunately at the moment though, all of this is at a standstill until the appeal on the settlement has been lifted.
People have become very sick from exposure to these carcinogenic chemicals, yet medical claims are not being paid. Many are out of work because of conditions imposed upon them by their past as a cleanup worker. Although the economy was highly affected by the spill, it seems as if people’s health is much more important than compensating a business for lost revenue.
From day one, we have been in this to help people.
W.C. Bohack the principal of BPClaims.org was on the water off Grand Isle in mid June 2010, to see firsthand what exactly was going on, he has often mentioned you could taste the Corexit in the air, and wandered what the after effects would be. We are seeing a continued rise in certain cancers and other respiratory and skin issues, many of them, chronic. These are issues that we will be dealing with for many years to come. Including the cleanup workers and those that resided in affected zones, over 200,000 may be eligible to receive medical benefits through the BP Medical Settlement.
We have been assisting people that were injured by the use of Corexit since the very beginning, we have been in touch with some of the best personal injury attorneys in the country who will fight to get you justice. They are actually having people go to doctors, to be tested and they are paying for it. Do not hesitate to call. If have been experiencing any health changes since the spill that you feel may be related, contact us today at 1-800-BP-CLAIM or fill out our form.
By Author: Brittany Rader