Physician: Public health crisis in the Gulf after BP Deepwater Horizon disaster — Thousands suffering chronic problems

Published: December 19th, 2012 at 4:45 pm ET


Title: Gulf doctor: BP settlement won’t help my sick patients
Source: Stuart H. Smith
Date: Dec. 17, 2012

Dr. Michael Robichaux is frustrated. Since the earliest days of the Deepwater Horizon spill, Dr. Robichaux — based in Mathews, La. — has done little else besides treating fishermen, cleanup workers and coastal residents who’ve been make sick by their exposure to the oil or the toxic dispersant that was sprayed in the Gulf. In recently months, Robichaux has looked closely as the $7.8 billion settlement that’s on the table between BP and local residents and small businesses, and he believes the deal is grossly unfair to thousands suffering chronic health problems.

Before the hearing that was held before U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier this fall, Dr. Robichaux filed a letter of objection to the pending settlement. His primary objections to the medical provisions of the deal are two-fold: It favors workers and others who suffered acute, short-term exposure to the spill while failing to properly acknowledge the chronic, long-term illnesses that many now face in coastal communities. What’s more, the low financial ceilings on the payments to claimants in the case won’t be nearly enough to cover medical bills that some will be facing for the rest of their lives. […]

Dr. Robichaux wrote that he’s treated 113 patients who were exposed to toxic pollution from the BP oil spill, and about 100 of them have had severe chronic health effects, to the point that many of them are unable to work because of constant headaches or fatigue and are unable to work, relying instead on Social Security, Medicaid or other social programs. […]

In the letter, Dr. Robichaux said he was frustrated with the medical testimony that he heard in court on behalf of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee. He said that the physician advising lawyers from the PSC seemed to get their information largely over the telephone from other doctors — but it bore little resemblance to the actual patients he’s treated along the Gulf.

The result, he argues, is a settlement that not only is unfair to those seeking medical compensation but in fact creates a false record of what should be widely acknowledged as a public health crisis in the Gulf. This, he correctly notes, is a grave injustice. […]

See also: [intlink id=”tv-massive-oil-sheen-around-bp-deepwater-horizon-site-video” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: December 19th, 2012 at 4:45 pm ET


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20 comments to Physician: Public health crisis in the Gulf after BP Deepwater Horizon disaster — Thousands suffering chronic problems

  • Five days after the DWH explosion, I met two women from Destin. They were in their 50's, good health, non-smokers and had spent the winter in Nicaragua. They returned to Florida a few days after our meeting. A year and a half later, both women died – from lung cancer and a respiratory infection. Coincidence?

  • markww markww

    people all along the Gulf Coast having breathing respiratory infections
    and strange things on bodies from colon infections that look like bloody strawberries in colon chamber to skin rashes and other things which started after BP


  • Usefulbreather

    Severely worsening allergy symptoms, excrutiating headaches, no appetite, lingering respiratory ailments…all since around the Summer of 2010. My mother died of a respiratory ailment just last August. I hear others with similar complaints, all since around the Summer of 2010.

  • lostsoul436

    I live in central Florida, after the spill there was a few times where weve had dirty rain that left residue and burned holes in the leaves of some plants, It really bothers me when my yard with the rest of the town is getting crapped on with chemical rain by corporate leaders who pay people that don't live here to get on TV and say everything peachy.

    Some world we live in…

    • lostsoul436

      would this tainted rain have an effect on our health? whats in it? How does it accumulate in our bodies? is the food we grow safe to eat? is tap water safe? all questions i hope to, but will probably never get answered /:

    • I used to live in St Petersburg . I got hit once with rain drops that burned my skin and left scars . I still have some of these as white patches on my shoulders, upper arms,, and back . I was just happy to get a quick cold shower afterwards .I know what you are saying here . Up close and personal …
      I moved back to the mountains of Georgia …

  • Radio VicFromOregon

    lostsoul436, just stay as healthy as you can and keep your immunity up. Tainted anything isn't healthy, so reduce your exposure as much as possible. Lots of the chemicals used were acidic and you may have been seeing acid rain like happens in the NE from the coal burning, but, in your case, it would be from a slew of oil and additives released into the water cycle. Others were alkaline, and that is a different kind of issue. Some will evaporate and some will store in the body, but, in the US, we already carry quite high chemical loads from all the oils and plastics and foods we breath, bath in ad eat and drink every day, so deciding when you got exposed to what could be hard. Occasionally do a mild body cleansing or consider checking into taking Triphala for a few months to detox and tonify your organs and skin. An occasional steam bath or sweat if you can handle heat, followed by a mild cooling shower, to move toxins out as the skin is the largest organ that detoxifies and the first line of defense from the outside.

  • markww markww

    SOME ONE WITH THE GUTS that KNOWS what is BAD ABOUT corexit NEEDS ti step up to the plate and be totally honest and open as to how
    Corexit changes the DNA, The IMMUNE System Patterns, The Diseases this material can cause, the epidemiology. Everything needs to be bought out and what PEOPLE world wide can do.



  • byron byron

    MSNBC has been running an Ad with happy, pretty people encouraging visitors to come to the Gulf states to "eat our seafood", etc. Ad by which company? Right out loud and in print at the end of the Ad? BP

    • Maggie123

      Byron – do you know, has the MSNBC ad been made avail on YouTube? (Am thinking of emailing them on this – but would like to reference the ad or somehow identify it). Others might want to do this also – never hurts to let MSM know when they fall short of best practices. (I figure even if the head honchos don't ever get to see the email – *some*one does … and that one person's thoughts get the tiniest of nudges … never know, can help awareness 'trickle across' the landscape. Thanks.

      • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

        Maggie, the new BP ad is on YouTube:
        Give 'em hell! 🙂

        • Maggie123

          Thanks PhilipUN and aigeezer – haven't had TV for a few years, and last I did, dominant ads were "here's a new disease, here's the new gee-whiz med, ask your doctor about this".

          Obviously I haven't been tracking HuffP either! (it's like FB on my system – tediously time-consuming)

          I'll look at your several links and follow-through. 🙂

      • aigeezer aigeezer

        Maggie123. Such BP ads have been running on CNN for many months. It's straight-up propaganda. There's some Web chatter about them, such as:

        From the source, BP. It's a series of ads, not just one:

        Oh, on a related front, CNN featured massive incessant advertising for both the oil/gas industry and the coal industry in the leadup to the American election, ads that blatantly told people to "vote" for oil/gas/coal. They appear to have stopped now. I mention from time to time that CNN used to run lots of Areva ads, but they stopped abruptly when the Fukushima crisis began.

        MSM are propaganda outlets, but for many they are the only source of "information". A red pill, blue pill epoch is upon us.

        • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

          Advertising revenues from Big Oil, Nukes, and corporations are the very reason why the MSM cannot be trusted to tell the truth, if the truth is that fracking causes earthquakes, or that Superstorm Sandy was enhanced and steered into New Jersey, using "radar" based weather modification. Or that coal isn't really "clean" at all. The MSM has blood on its hands. The people will have to rely on Internet based news organizations to learn what is really happening in our world. What about the LA sinkhole? Any coverage on MSM recently? Any hint that over a million barrels of butane in the compromised salt dome may suddenly exit through the sinkhole into the atmosphere? Any hint at all that US nuke plants are just as vulnerable to loss of grid power as Japan's were, and that backup generators are so vulnerable that we cannot expect them to cool nuke plants during a power outage, flood, or storm?

  • Maggie123

    PhilipUN – "…. rely on Internet based news organizations to learn what is really happening in our world…."

    With the caution that even these alternative media may be pretty strongly biased, may do a lot of stereotyping, and may over-promote X as true when X may not be, or X may contain a germ, a hint, of truth.

    I roam internet pretty widely and find that even the most 'out there' anger/accusations have glimpses and hints of problems that need attention, but these may be lost in the site's "ideological perspective", just as MSM broadcasters will occasionally give important challenging questions an airing (often a special – these come and goe amidst dominant pablums).

    Interesting morning's fare here at ENE – I've got to shift to non-computer based stuff (so I can return later and follow-thru on the ad communications!) 🙂