An Incomplete Satisfaction

As I’d thought, the settlement between BP, and Gulf residents and businesses will not, it seems, ever come to public trial. The New York Times reports that lawyers for the parties are close to a final agreement and the trial, scheduled to begin on Monday, will be “adjourned indefinitely.” 

The Times article states:

The two lawyers who led the plaintiffs’ steering committee, Stephen J. Herman and James P. Roy, said, “This settlement will provide a full measure of compensation to hundreds of thousands — in a transparent and expeditious manner under rigorous judicial oversight.”

“Full measure of compensation,” perhaps, but this settlement will deny to people whose way of life has been significantly threatened, if not for all intents and purposes destroyed, the opportunity to face BP executives in open court, watch them testify and respond to questioning.

The expedited financial settlement was important for these people, and must have been quite literally irresistible, but it doesn’t come free. As is typically the case, it’s America’s working people who will assume the risks, cry the tears and bear the burden of crises created by the self-serving decisions of others.

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