posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 05:01 PM
Juries fall asleep in science heavy court cases.
Workers got sick during the Exxon Valdez clean-up.
Why then hasn't BP equiped the fisherman and clean-up crews with respiratory gear, gloves, suits etc to protect them from the crude and dispersent
Because once they do they open themselves up to law-suits...admitting that the fumes are a danger.
From a an economic/liability perspective it is cheaper to deny the fumes are toxic, allow the workers to get sick and then contest that the fumes have
anything to do with it.
It worked with the Exxon-Valdez spill and those who got sick cleaning it up.
The medical science is complicated and beyond most juries and thus difficult to prove conclusively in a court battle...cheaper to admit nothing and
let the workers get sick roll the dice in court.
Court records showed more than 6,700 workers involved in the Exxon Valdez clean up suffered respiratory problems which the company attributed to a
viral illness, not chemical poisoning.
Dennis Mestas represented the only known worker to successfully settle with Exxon over health issues. According to the terms of that confidential
settlement, Exxon did not admit fault.
His client, Gary Stubblefield, spent four months lifting workers in a crane for 18 hours a day as they sprayed the oil-slicked beaches with hot water,
which created an oily mist. Even though he had to wipe clean his windshield twice a day, Stubblefield said it never occurred to him that the mixture
might be harming his lungs.
Within weeks, he and others, who wore little to no protective gear, were coughing and experiencing other symptoms that were eventually nicknamed
Valdez crud. Now 60, Stubblefield cannot get through a short conversation without coughing and gasping for breath like a drowning man. He sometimes
needs the help of a breathing machine and inhalers, and has to be careful not to choke when he drinks and eats.
Watching the Gulf situation unfold, he says, makes him sick.