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Lawyers: Rig workers asked to sign statements

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posted on May, 11 2010 @ 06:12 PM
I wonder what BP was so afraid of that they had to intimidate these workers and force them to sign false statements under duress.

TextWorkers aboard an exploding offshore drilling platform were told to sign statements denying they were hurt or witnessed the blast that rocked the rig, killed 11 and spewed millions of gallons of oil into the ocean, their attorneys said Tuesday.
Survivors floated for hours in life boats in the Gulf of Mexico following the disaster on the Deepwater Horizon, and were greeted by company officials onshore asking them to sign statements that they had no "first hand or personal knowledge" of the incident, attorneys said.

"These men are told they have to sign these statements or they can't go home," said Tony Buzbee, a Houston-based attorney for 10 Transocean workers. "I think it's pretty callous, but I'm not surprised by it."

Guy Cantwell, a spokesman for rig owner Transocean Ltd., refused to answer whether Transocean or any company attached to the firm had supplied the statement, claiming it was inappropriate to comment on litigation.

"Our focus has been on the crewmembers and their families, working with all parties in the response efforts and conducting a Transocean investigation into the incident," he said Monday.

The men were kept for at least 10 hours at sea, then taken to a hotel on shore in Louisiana to sign the forms and be debriefed, according to Buzbee and court documents filed in lawsuits already brought by some Transocean employees. While such statements have no legal force and are a common industry practice, they are often used to attack the credibility of workers who later sue or testify in a lawsuit, Buzbee said.

"When I signed that I didn't care what it was. I wanted to sign the papers to do whatever I had to do so me and my wife could leave to go home," Chris Choy, a 23-year-old surviving worker said in an interview that aired Monday night with PBS'"The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.""I'd been up for 40 hours and was just going through hell."

Choy said he tried to save Aaron Dale Burkeen of Mississippi, one of 11 workers missing and presumed dead following the explosion, before being evacuated from the burning rig to a cargo boat where he watched the rig go down in flames.

"One of my clients was trying to get counseling and they had them sign this form," said Kurt Arnold, another Houston-based attorney who filed suit on behalf of three workers and the widow of a deceased crane operator last week. "They were trying to get as many of these guys to sign these statements as possible."

Robert Wine, a BP spokesman, reviewed the statement and said it had "nothing to do with BP."

"We did not make our 6 employees sign anything, let alone a waiver," he said in a statement.

Rig workers or their families have filed at least several wrongful death or personal injury lawsuits against Transocean, rig operator BP PLC and other companies involved in the offshore drilling operation.

Fishermen, property owners, restaurateurs, resort companies and others have filed nearly 50 potential class-action lawsuits claiming the spill is causing or will cause steep economic losses.

The explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon has triggered a major environmental disaster because an uncapped well continues to spew at least 210,000 gallons per day into the Gulf.


Burke reported from Fresno, Calif. Anderson reported from Miami.

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posted on May, 11 2010 @ 06:21 PM
I posted about this earlier in this Ongoing Thread

This whole deal is going to come under so much scrutiny.

posted on May, 11 2010 @ 06:41 PM

"We did not make our 6 employees sign anything, let alone a waiver," he said in a statement.

Can this statement be used in the court of law when the waivers do show up? Because they will.

posted on May, 11 2010 @ 06:45 PM
ooops now this is messed up

[edit on 11-5-2010 by dragnet53]

posted on May, 11 2010 @ 07:02 PM
OP, the world is crashing down amongst the elite. They attempt to diffuse things, they attempt to point fingers.

The problem is, the governments of the world are complicit in the actions.

What do we do?

Do we only go after the private enterprises, or do we go after the asses protecting these companies.

Always remember folks, the government is complicit in the majority of ALL components of ALL enterprises.

Why is it that land based drilling is NOT allowed? Except for specific locations.

We all have to remember, that government is the end all and be all of the situation. Who is to gain? Who is to profit?

What I am asking, was this the vehicle used to institute global governance or global control?

Hell, even I am beginning to question my abhorrence of government. Indicative? Of what is going on?

posted on May, 11 2010 @ 07:38 PM

Originally posted by endisnighe

We all have to remember, that government is the end all and be all of the situation. Who is to gain? Who is to profit?

The company that owned the exploaded rig made 250m profit from insurance already.

posted on May, 11 2010 @ 07:47 PM
reply to post by mark_price

Exactly, they have been able to recoup losses due to INSURANCE.

We have to ask ourselves, should the "accident" be considered an "accident"?

Who is going to make this determination? A jury? or a "supposed" agency of regulation.

I have to ask everyone, what is the justice if not through a jury?

This company has caused one of the worst ecological disasters in history. Question: are they to be held accountable or will the governments use this as a vehicle to exert their control?

posted on May, 11 2010 @ 10:12 PM
This is interesting. More media blackout's and sleezy lawyer antics. That's too bad because when I came out of school I really didn't think this would be a problem and I never thought that governments and media giants would be in cahoots together along with a lot of rich and powerful people. Oh well I guess this is just the way things are.

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