Oil Spill Takes 12th Victim

Fisherman William Allen “Rookie” Kruse took his life last week, family and friends say he is the 12th victim of the April 20 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion, which killed 11 crew members.  The Gulf of Mexico oil spill ended Kruse’s $5,000 fishing trips for marlin and red snapper.  Out of work and suffering major financial devastation in an already struggling economy, two weeks ago Kruse agreed to work for BP, turning his 50- and 40-foot boats, the Rookie and the Rookie II, into what the oil giant calls Vessels of Opportunity.  Family and close friends say Kruse was unhappy and never given a day off.  He referred to the Vessels of Opportunity were just BP window-dressing.  After what seemed to be a routine morning on the vessel, Kruse shot himself in the head.  Many worry that there will be more among the captains idled by the worst spill in U.S. history.  LA Times

Two months have passed since the explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.  BP has failed to stop the leak, and Gulf region is suffering the effects of the spill.  BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg apologized for the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history and has agreeed to set aside $20 billion for victims of the Gulf Coast oil spill.  BP also agreed to put another $100 million into a foundation for out-of-work oil rig workers.  Additionally, the compensation fund does not preclude states and individuals from pressing their claims in court.  Victims must first seek compensation from the fund, which is administered by Ken Feinberg.  If they are unhappy with their allotted compensation, claimants can appeal to a three-judge panel.  But, if they are still dissatisfied after an appeal, they can head to court.  This will make for some very interesting lawsuits in the upcoming months.  It is important for all those affected by the oil spill to consult with an attorney to ensure his or her rights are preserved and protected.

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