bp medical interpretation could cut out thousands - oil spill absorbent
NEW ORLEANS —
Thousands of Gulf oil spill cleanup workers may lose their right to collect up to $60,700 in medical claims cheques from BP, thanks to another latter --
The oil giant promised to compensate the victims of the 2010 oil spill.
Last month, BP quietly won a ruling that could save tens of millions of dollars and significantly reduce the income of Gulf residents from chronic diseases that help clean up the company's chaos.
Just as several issues have delayed payments to businesses that lost money after the oil spill, the recent dispute over the significance of the settlement has emerged from several sentences on hundreds of pages. U. S.
District Judge Carl Barbier ruled on July 23 in support of the earlier policy statement by medical claims administrator Matt Garretson.
The policy supports BP's argument that clean-up workers must be diagnosed with a specific disease by April 16, 2012 in order to be eligible for what is called a "specific physical condition" payment.
The maximum payment for specific physical condition is $60,700, which is for those claimants who were injured and have been sustained within the first 72 hours.
When these people have to get an official diagnosis from the doctor, the battle is now over.
Garretson said that even if the claimant suffered from skin or respiratory diseases immediately after helping BP clean oil, he read the settlement document meaning that those of them were diagnosed after April 16, 2012
"The parties may have chosen the title of the term, 'later-
But they defined the term with the word "diagnosis", and unless the parties agree to the modification or otherwise directed by the court, we must apply the terms according to their definition, garretson wrote in an emailmail. Those "later-
The performance is "the case needs to be proved separately in court, and the" back end "after the end of the main legal dispute"
It may take a few more years.
In affirming Garretson's decision, Barbier said the settlement "clearly defined any disease diagnosed after April 16, 2012 as later --
Garretson said that instead of having the power to explain the settlement or the intention of the parties, he had to follow the simple meaning.
He quoted Barbier's ruling as indicating that he simply followed the "simple language of definition "(
BP and plaintiff)chose.
BP also argued that there was no real confusion about what these parts of the settlement meant, saying that Barbier's ruling was "just an affirmation of the simple terms of the agreement ".
"This is a straight forward question," BP spokesman Jeff Morrell said in a statement . ".
"A case of being diagnosed or diagnosed after April 16, 2012 belongs (Later-
The situation in the list of specific physical conditions diagnosed on or before April 16, 2012 belongs (
Specified physical condition)bucket. The Court and (Garretson)
Not confused by this clear definition;
We can only speculate why (
Plaintiff's attorney Steering Committee)
Claiming to be confused by it.
"But lawyers who clean up workers and coastal residents say it's not easy.
Lawyers representing clean-up workers and coastal residents negotiating solutions, who line up to charge billions of dollars, believe BP has agreed to pay $60,700 for specific chronic diseases
Those who appear within 72 hours of the victim's clean-up and continue for many years, whenever the doctor is diagnosed.
Settlement later defined-
The physical condition is shown as "the physical condition first diagnosed in members of the medical benefit settlement class after April 16, 2012.
But it defines a specific physical condition as a condition that "shows up first or intensifies" at a specific time.
It does not indicate when a specific physical condition must be diagnosed.
In fact, the plaintiff said that the new ruling made the word "later" meaningless.
"Only when the symptoms appear, not when the doctor diagnosed them.
Garretson stated that 500 claimants had admitted that they had not been diagnosed until after February.
2012, six months from the February deadline for the claim. 12, 2015.
One of them is Jose Santamaria from Kenner.
For the most part of 2010, he worked in a cleaning team at Hopedale, and when he picked up the boom that was placed on the water to catch the spilled oil, there was no protective suit.
He said he had a rash on his chest and arms, but he and other workers could not stop to see a doctor.
He said the deadline for diagnosis was unfair.
The settlement was not approved until November 2012, so he did not understand how he and other workers should know that they needed to be diagnosed by April of that year.
"Having these rashes is our normal daily routine there," Santamaria said . ".
"But mostly strict work, and beyond that, we never had a chance to settle in at home to see what was going on and realize there was a problem going to the doctor.
"Even those who go to see a doctor before April 16, 2012 are worried.
Darrell Caruso of delphiix, a shrimp boat captain, said he had picked up oil
As part of BP's "Ship of opportunity" project, the prosperity of pollution. He said oil-and dispersant-
The soaked water entered his boots and torso because there was no protective suit.
But the head of the clean-up job threatened to take him and his crew out of the job if they complained.
"Either you did it or you lost your job," Caruso said . ".
"We needed the job, so we voted and went.
We just didn't realize it would get wet with chemicals.
"He said he started the rash right away, but he didn't want to complain anymore because he was afraid of losing his job when fishing was shut down.
The rash and ulcers will disappear and even get worse.
His feet became so bad at the beginning of 2012 that they turned purple and he said he could hardly walk.
He finally went to the hospital, but it was not resolved.
His lawyer, Frank damiko, Jr. .
I don't know if the hospital records will classify Caruso as "diagnosed" in time ".
"According to the current ruling, not sure if he actually did a valid tip, because the doctor did not really diagnose and said, 'Yes, this chemical is causing this in your body, said Damien.
Chief Counsel for the plaintiff category, Steve Herman and Jim Roy, also raised concerns with the court that BP could use this ruling to squeeze the claimants at both ends.
If they submit their return to the claim office and say they show symptoms within the initial 72 hours but are forced to continue "later"
In court, BP can easily turn around and say that their condition does not meet the requirements of "later"
Herman and Roy also said they were "injured ".
BP said it did not take and did not take this position, but did not say that it would not make this argument in the future during the "return" periodend litigation.