Eight years after BP oil spill, victims still seeking justice

(WVUE) - Years of fighting through disease and injury from the BP oil spill, victims say their voices are still being ignored. A BP oil rig exploded in the Gulf eight years ago today. For some, those injuries still haven't healed.

It's painful for Capt. Joseph Brown to relive his time fighting the BP oil spill as a first responder, but even more painful are the wounds he's still fighting to heal.

"It was...It was just a disaster. That's basically all you can say about it. It was terrible," said Brown.

Dr. Mike Robichaux says he has wnessed the effects first-hand in the patients he has treated since the spill.

Gen. Russel Honore was one of a handful of people who spoke at a rally to demand justice from the federal government outside the courthouse.

"It's a crying damn shame we've allowed this in America," said Honore.

Eleven workers were killed in the explosion. Two and a half years later, Tiffany Odoms said her husband died from his long-term exposure as he worked to clean up the spill.

"To hear my baby still cry every night and wonder why she can't go to heaven and visit her dad," she said.

Eight years later,  Honore said the payouts from a class action lawsuit don't begin to cover the pain and suffering these people have lived with. He said it's time federal Judge Carl Barbier reverse his decision to delay hearing those cases indefinitely.

"Guess who don't have their life back? The people who did the cleanup, the people who have to go home and get public assistance to stay alive, and it's had an impact on their family," he said.

Though a small group, they're armed with a petition with tens of thousands of signatures hoping to strengthen their argument to allow them to have their day in court.

"This company was able to come here, bamboozle the White House and President Obama and Justice Department, trample on our peoples' rights. And today they hide under the protection of this court. It's a crying damn shame," Honore said.

The judge's chambers did not want to comment on the possibility of considering those cases.

For a link to the petition, click here.  

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