Friday, July 30, 2010
Corexit Litigation, Let the Games Begin
And the beat goes on. It is time to begin to prepare those legal ads, you know the ones, where some believable, concerned, avuncular salt and peppered haired lawyer looks out from your flat screen promising to get you your FAIR reward. The buzz word will be COREXIT.
As a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, somewhere between 800,000 to 1,800,000 gallons of Corexit, an oil dispersant was used in the Gulf of Mexico.
Corexit worked well, in fact so well that it is hard to find any oil in the Gulf. While some would consider this a great victory for chemistry, others will see the bull market created by the possibly real and for sure imagined toxicities of Corexit and its oil breakdown products. Marine biologists have found what they describe as orange blobs under the translucent shells of crab larvae.
Scientists at Tulane University aren't sure yet, but the blobs may have the fingerprint of Corexit. Fingerprint, indeed.
The long term effects of Corexit and oil are unknown, but in the USA everything is a form of terrorism. Worst case scenarios are the best way to go. Once a society is running scared any bump in the night is the grim reaper. When the litigious nature of the country is factored in, the Corexit situation will be the source of lawsuits, lots of them. It is without doubt that Corexit litigation will be an industry unto itself. To get an idea of how these matters evolve, consider asbestos, Bendectin, metoclopramide, Fen-Phen, Ford gas tanks, Toyota gas pedals, etc.
While some scientists think Corexit is a safe and reasonable alternative for oil spills, other think not. Grave harm may have been done to the Gulf and its ecosystem, so says a scientific group led by Susan Shaw the director of the Marine Environmental Research unit. Once the Corexit-oil droplets get into the food chain, the ultimate effects are hard to predict, but they will surely be dire. Cancer and other malignancies, birth defects, stunted development, and missing or extra digits will be forthcoming. Naturally, any lawyer would be able to connect these maladies to Corexit, There will be no problem finding scientific experts, who would espouse the negligence of Nalco Holding (manufacturer of Corexit) and British Petroleum. The legal profession as well as scientist Shaw and her followers could make a fortune.
None of this really comes as a surprise. Both Nalco and BP must have already purchased insurance to indemnify themselves from Corexit litigation. A brother of the American litigation business is insurance. Without insurance, litigation starves. So as sure as the ocean is wet and the desert is dry, the upcoming Corexit litigation is a certainty. It's already been paid for by...er...us. After all, the costs of all litigation is ultimately borne by the public, one way or another. And so it goes.