North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Bloggers Wonder about Compensation Arrangements for Deepwater Horizon Workers

May 5, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

On April 20th, a massive explosion rocked the giant oil rig Deepwater Horizon, which had been drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The catastrophe, which ironically occurred on Earth Day, ultimately sank the ship and killed 11 workers. Now that the smoke is cleared, many in the North Carolina workers’ compensation community (and other concerned parties around the world) are wondering how, precisely, the British Company BP will remunerate injured and traumatized workers and staunch the environmental damage of the spill.

A Little Background

On April 20th, the oil rig Deepwater Horizon caught flame after an explosion while drilling 40 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River off the Louisiana Coast. In the chaos that ensued, 11 workers lost their lives, the ship sank, and tens of thousands of gallons of oil leaked from a well into the surrounding ocean, threatening the coast lines of Louisiana and Texas and endangering wild life, such as local sperm whales. The explosion is the worst disaster to hit the industry in a decade, and England-based BP has launched a massive effort to resolve the continuing oil spillage and deliver compensation to victims of the disaster.

Out of the 126 workers on the Deepwater Horizon, 115 made it back to shore alive. Many were taken to local hospitals in West Jefferson and Baton Rouge. Injuries ranged from smoke inhalation to laceration to shock. Although BP is an international company, it is responsible for both the clean-up and the compensation. Nevertheless, given the complicating factors – the fact that it happened offshore, that BP is foreign-owned, that the explosion was so catastrophic, and so forth – the case will likely get quite legally messy.

If you recall, similar complications ensued after an explosion last June at a ConAgra Slim Jim plant here in North Carolina. The North Carolina workers’ compensation arrangement for employees injured in that accident is still being hashed out and still making headlines. On April 8th, 20+ ConAgra Foods employees sued the town of Garner, NC, for instance. No doubt, more legal maneuvering and suing and counter-suing may yet occur in that case.

If you or a loved one has been injured in some kind of catastrophic case – like an explosion at work or a fall – or if you’ve suffered a more mundane but no less uncomfortable condition such as a typing injury – you may benefit from the counsel of an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney. A free and confidential consultation can help you develop an effective strategy to collect the money that you and your family deserve.

More Web Resources:

Deepwater Horizon

ConAgra Clean Up


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