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John Bair
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BP: A Victim of the Little Guy?


Oil Spill

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In the wake of its unsuccessful attempt to halt payments on oil spill claims, BP ran a full-page ad in yesterday’s issues of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.  The ad, which claimed that the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill settlement is “bad for American business,” quoted President & CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Thomas Donohue as saying,

 “…thousands of claimants that suffered no losses are coming forward, obtaining outrageous windfalls and making a mockery of what was intended to be a fair and honest settlement process.”

The article also quotes National Association of Manufacturers President & CEO Jay Timmons:

”Our tort system is designed to ensure victims receive just and fair compensation and also to deter future wrongful acts.  However, too often these days, the tort system is nothing more than a trial-lawyer bonanza…”

This type of advertising is infuriating, and it makes me glad that the Seventh Amendment exists.  We have to stop favoring corporations and continue to fight to protect the power of the individual. Are there individuals taking advantage of the system?  Undoubtedly.  Is BP a victim?  Hardly.  Our justice system isn’t perfect, but it’s one that allows the little guy, the small business owner, the parent to file a claim against a multi-billion dollar corporation who has done them wrong.

I’d be interested to know what others think—do you feel that BP is a victim?


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