Greetings. I have had the pleasure of talking to most of you who have been following BP over the years and appreciate the rekindled interest in BP in light of the most recent disaster.
Our firm has over 7 million internal BP documents. We are going to be providing these to the press to better understand the issues involved in the rig disaster and issues regarding how BP historically deals with major disasters, internally and externally.
We represented many of the victims of the BP Texas City refinery disaster of March 2005, where we served as lead counsel. We deposed hundreds of witnesses, including the former CEO of BP, Lord John Browne. We tried the case through 2008. We also represent the State of Oklahoma in a consumer class action for the price fixing debacle BP was caught in. As legal counsel to the hourly workers in Texas, Louisiana and other states in the USW system, (which includes most of the petrochemical plants, steel mills and paper mills) we are gravely concerned with the decisions of management in heavy industry, which are all too often geared towards profits over safety.
We presently represent workers from the rig explosion and have filed environmental claims and will continue to work with individuals and other firms in addressing what is likely to become the worst environmental disaster we have ever seen and what already is one of the worst tragedies in human losses to ever occur in the Gulf of Mexico.
To set the stage, the first document we are releasing is what we call the "Schiavo" document. Less than three hours after the BP Texas City plant erupted in fire, blasting out windows miles away, BP already had their PR and damage control team in place. Patricia Wright was the PR director for BP for Texas City at the time and remitted this email to others in BP in the loop on the strategies. Ross Pillari, the first name on the list, was the President of BP North America at the time.
Although emergency personnel were still digging through the rubble looking for bodies, living or dead, BP strategists were evaluating damage control. This early email is self explanatory. Basically, the initial assessment was that although 15 people were dead, hundreds injured and the entire community put at risk, that the incident would "go away; due to (sic) the holiday weekend" (referencing Easter), and noting that Schiavo was a big media issue (inferring other media focus). Most of you probably recall the Schiavo matter, which involved the use of artificial respiration or life support. BP has a history of being apologetic and contrite in public and only focusing on the bottom line and damage control in private.
Starting today, we will begin to re-release these and other documents through our website dedicated to this event, www.gulfcoastdisaster.com.
While we respect the right of BP to convey to the media their side of the story, our personal experience would advise everyone to exercise a significant degree of caution with respect to their representations and motivations.
About Brent Coon & Associates
Brent Coon & Associates was the lead counsel in the BP Texas City Explosion of March 23, 2005, representing hundreds of affected workers. Working with the Chemical Safety Board, Department of Justice, the USW and other organizations, BCA has amassed over 7 million documents concerning refinery safety and played a pivotal role in establishing the occurrences of multiple, major safety violations. Brent Coon has discussed his in-depth knowledge of the dark side of BP’s corporate culture and how it relates to the current gulf coast disaster on numerous national media outlets including 60 Minutes, USA Today, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and Newsweek. For more information on Brent Coon & Associates in this case or in other matters, please contact Jay Jackson, Communications Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 312-656-3471.
BCA has created www.gulfcoastdisaster.com where we will keep the media and the public at the epicenter of the legal action on all the issues surrounding the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill - we’ll be releasing key documents, information and insights on every facet of this tragedy and the resulting litigation that is sure to follow.