BP Handing Out $5,000 To Give Up Right To Sue Over Spill
May 3, 2010
(ChattahBox)—BP Oil was busy on Monday pledging to pay for the costs of the massive oil spill in the Gulf. But behind the scenes, BP officials were also busy mitigating its damages, by offering struggling fishermen an instant $5,000 cash settlement in exchange for signing a waiver prohibiting them from suing the company for additional damages.
Many of the contracts, also included confidentiality agreements and were handed to fisherman hired by BP to lay down boom in the Gulf waters, to contain the oil spill and prevent it from reaching shore.
On Monday, Alabama Attorney General Troy King warned residents to use caution, before signing waivers and he demanded that BP immediately stop the practice. In response, Darren Beaudo, a spokesman for BP, said the waiver requirement had been removed and that existing waiver clauses would not be enforced. “BP will not enforce any waivers that have been signed in connection with this activity,” he wrote in an e-mail.
King pointed out that residents struggling to pay their monthly bills, may be tempted to take the $5,000, a paltry sum under the circumstances, in exchange for giving up the right to sue:
“But King said late Sunday that he was still concerned that people would lose their right to sue by accepting settlements from BP of up to $5,000, as envisioned by the claim process BP has set up.”
BP Group Chief Executive Tony Hayward, told NPR on Monday that his company would pay “legitimate claims.” And he called the contracts containing waivers “an early misstep” that was “eliminated very early in the process.”‘
But Beaudo also pushed back against King’s suggestion that Alabama residents were being taken advantage of. “To the best of my knowledge BP did not ask residents of Alabama to waive their legal rights in the way that has been described,” Beaudo said.
Nothing like fleecing suffering people, during an economic and environmental disaster. Way to go BP!