As BP proudly thumps its chest, refusing to pay claims under the terms of the Settlement Agreement and Contract the company itself authored and agreed to, hardworking Americans go broke. They lose their homes and businesses. They lose their families. They live in shelters. They lose their minds.
The following is an email I received today from Anthony Martin.
Are you proud of this BP?
I was the proud owner of The Blueline Crab Company for about eight years. This was a seafood restaurant in Live Oak, Florida, about 61 miles inland from Horseshoe beach on the Gulf of Mexico. I wholesaled Gulf blue crabs from here to Maryland, purchasing well over one million dollars from local boats over the years.
After Hurricane Katrina I put more than 80 crabbers back on the water for six months. That’s about 40 to 60 thousand dollars per week. I had my own fishermen all over Florida. My restaurant was two years from being paid for.
Six months after the BP spill I just couldn’t keep up any more. Prices of seafood skyrocketed, supply was down and we experienced a ten percent drop in demand (sales) as folks assumed seafood from the Gulf was unsafe. I was forced into a sale to a millionaire in my town. My payables were too high for me to pay and I sold the building and business.
I’m not trying to create a sob story. I paid my debts with creditors from the sale of my business. But, there was no other work in that small town so I traveled Florida doing drywall work at age 52. I lost my home, slept in shelters and ate at food banks. I lost my wife and child due to my inability to feed them.
The GCCF, BP’s private claims program, compensated me with an inadequate amount a day late and a dollar short. I have a court case filed with BP, and am still waiting.
I lost everything and have moved 19 times until all I have is what my car would transport. I’m not a furniture company or a daycare asking for money. I am and was seafood, so I don’t want to hear BP crying anymore. I have no sympathy. I built the dining room myself and the tiki deck. I used to have to walk two blocks just to get in, there was always a crowd. BP said I will have to take them to court.
As a plaintiff attorney, Tom Young has been at the forefront of some of the Nation's worst disasters. In 2015, he was judicially appointed to represent over 200,000 plaintiffs in an allocation proceeding involving a $1.24 billion settlement with Deepwater Horizon contractor Halliburton and rig owner Transocean. Currently, he's focused on representing numerous communities across the country that have been ravaged by the opioid epidemic and are now seeking damages from drug manufacturers and distributors.