Sick Americans STILL Fighting for Help, Over A Decade After Oil Spill

Massive Oil Spill Workers Are Now Sick—and Suing!
  • The Deepwater Horizon spill was the worst oil disaster in American history.
  • Thousands of people helped clean up the oil.
  • More than a decade later, clean-up workers are suffering from illnesses.
  • BP is still fighting lawsuits from those impacted.

( – A little over a year into former President Barack Obama’s administration, a major disaster occurred. Methane gas rose from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico and ignited. It caused an explosion that killed 11 workers and injured 17 others. The crew was drilling a deep exploratory well for BP when the accident occurred.

The explosion caused a leak that began spewing millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf. For 87 days, experts worked to fix the leak, but during that time, the oil was obliterating sea life in the body of water. It completely upended marine and fishing industries along the Gulf Coast, causing severe economic damage. Thirteen years after the spill began, workers who helped clean up the disaster are still trying to receive compensation for the numerous issues they’ve dealt with.

BP Fighting Lawsuits

April 20 was just a normal day for most Americans. But for thousands of people, it was the 13th anniversary of the day their lives changed. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was the worst in the country’s history. Much like on September 11, 2001, concerned citizens flocked to the Gulf Coast to see how they could help clean up the disaster. More than a decade later, many of those people are sick, and some are even dead.

In the aftermath of the oil spill, BP negotiated a medical settlement. However, thousands of people were not covered by that settlement. That meant they had to sue the company on their own.

The Illnesses

The Guardian reported thousands of people who helped clean up the oil spill are suffering from rashes, diarrhea, chronic respiratory issues, and even cancer. Those along the Gulf Coast have started calling the problems “Gulf Coast Syndrome” or “BP Syndrome.” BP safety briefings show the company told workers who were cleaning up that they didn’t have to wear breathing protection because the waves had broken down the toxic chemicals. That proved to be incredibly bad advice.

Among those suing BP for compensation are 59-year-old Samuel Castleberry and 58-year-old Floyd Ruffin. Both men were diagnosed with prostate cancer that they believe was caused by the oil spill.

In a previous settlement, BP paid $65 million to over 22,000 people who’d developed short-term illnesses, the victims received less than $3,000 on average.

While the latest round of plaintiffs are getting sicker and some are dying, BP has argued they can’t prove the oil was responsible, even though research says otherwise.

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