Environmental Protection

Law Firm Sues BP for Use of Chemical Dispersant

Braud and Gallagher, LLC filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on June 17 alleging that BP and Nalco Holding Company intentionally sprayed COREXIT® 9500 dispersant into the Gulf of Mexico with full knowledge of its dangerous toxicity.

The suit also alleges that the dispersant was sprayed entirely to lessen BP’s financial exposure and cleanup efforts.

When administered, the dispersant attaches to the oil causing both the oil and the chemical to sink below the surface of the water eventually settling to the sea floor. Studies have demonstrated this process will permanently alter the biosystem and food chain in the Gulf.

“The oil spill itself was bad enough and resulted from negligence, but this spraying of COREXIT® is intentional,” stated C. Arlen Braud, II. Braud said that the dispersant is four times as toxic as the oil itself. Oil is toxic at 11 ppm, but COREXIT® is toxic at only 2.61 ppm. "This chemical has been banned in the UK for over a decade, yet a UK company is pouring millions of gallons into the Gulf of Mexico, turning it into a toxic soup and that is despicable," Braud said.

The dispersant was banned in the United Kingdom because it did not pass the “Rocky Shore Test,” which ensures that it does not cause a deleterious effect or ecological change.

According to the firm's press release, COREXIT® 9500 was used to clean up after the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989. According to the Alaska Community Action on Toxics it has had a negative effect on the health of those who were exposed. CNN reports that the average life expectancy of the workers who cleaned up the Exxon Valdez spill is 51 years and most of those workers are now deceased.

Braud & Gallagher, LLC. is a law firm that practices extensively in Admiralty and Maritime Law, toxic torts and class actions throughout the Gulf Coast Region.

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