BP Tried to Force Fishermen Volunteers to Agree Not to Sue

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Fishermen who agreed to help stem the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico were asked by the owner of the offshore platform, BP, to sign an agreement waiving their rights to sue the corporation. The company hired local fishermen to lay out oil booms and assist with other work designed to corral the huge oil slick spreading across the Gulf since the destruction of BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling platform.

The president of the United Commercial Fisherman’s Association, George Barisich, compared BP’s effort to limit its liability “to demanding that a person running into their own burning home sign a release limiting or giving up their claims against the arsonist who caused the fire.”
When the demand was made public, a BP spokesman said the inclusion of the waiver in the contracts signed by fishermen was a mistake, and its lawyers agreed in court to remove the provision.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Judge Enjoins BP's Unconscionable Contract with Fishermen-Volunteers (by Sabrina Canfield, Courthouse News Service)
United Commercial Fisherman’s Association v. BP (U.S. District Court, Eastern Louisiana) (pdf)


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