BP spill victims say people still getting sick, and getting little help
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - People who claim they are still getting sick or have loved ones who have died are lashing out at BP and settlement attorneys claiming they’re not doing enough.
They say there are thousands of victims who are not being compensated for the harm done, but the law firm that made millions tells a different.
In April of 2010, when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded killing 11 people and sending millions of gallons of oil into the gulf, Tim Kerner, the mayor of Lafitte mobilized.
Eight years later, the mayor says a relative, Frank Stuart, who used to head the City of New Orleans streets department, is dead and his widow blames the spill.
Stuart was an engineer who worked to protect some of the bays and inlets from oil using protective booms and his relatives said his exposure to the oil and dispersant, was nearly constant.
“They were there every day trying to protect the area and Frank came up with cancer and wound up passing away,” said Kerner.
He died of leukemia in April, and now others are coming forward to say they too, are getting sick years after most of the litigation was settled.
“I have been through hell and back recuperating has been an arduous journey,” said former cleanup worker Luke Boudreaux.
Aside from BP, they also blame the law firm which handled much of the litigation for not doing enough.
“We have information that they collected over $87 million in legal fees, but we have 37,000 people awaiting justice,” said retired army Lt General Russel Honore.
For his part, plaintiff attorney Steve Herman put out a statement saying, ‘to date more than 22,000 cleanup workers and coastal residents have received a total of $67 million from the BP medical settlement’...'This does not include the 21-year medical monitoring program established for clean-up workers.' But these families want more.
"They want disappearing victims, they're trying to minimize their settlement," said Frank Stuart's widow, Sheree Kerner Stuart.
BP victims have scheduled a town hall meeting for next week in Lafitte.
Plaintiff attorney Steve Herman, says to date, over 250,000 businesses and individuals have received more than $11.5 billion from BP. The Lafitte town hall meeting, will be held Tuesday, September 6, at the Lafitte Civic Center, at 6 p.m.
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