In testimony about the Gulf Oil rig disaster on Thursday some victims got to air their anger on the Congressional record. Some have lost loved ones that can never be replaced, and others were encouraged to sign away their rights as victims. This did not even include the millions who will lose their livelihoods. Their rage should be felt by us all.
Attorney Keith Jones, who lost his son on the Deepwater Horizon rig. He testified how these companies should be made to make amends for the lives they destroyed:
Jones, a trial lawyer from Baton Rouge, La., urged Congress to impose punitive damages on the companies that are responsible for the disaster and the subsequent environmental catastrophe.
"The loss of Gordon's income is the last thing Michelle grieves for," Jones said of his son's widow. "Please believe me, no amount of money will ever compensate us for Gordon's loss. We know that. But payment of damages by wrongdoers is the only means we have in this country to make things right."
"You must make sure they can feel it in their bank account," he said.
His voice breaking, Jones struggled to talk about his two grandsons, one just 2 weeks old, who'll never really know their father. When Michelle Gordon gave birth earlier this month, her husband's presence in the delivery room was limited to a family photo, Jones said.
Another survivor told of his outrageous ordeal with Transocean:
A survivor of the explosion, Stephen Stone, challenged the committee to punish his employer, Transocean Ltd., for "gambling with their employees' lives."
Transocean, Stone said, asked him to sign a waiver - without his attorney present - saying that he wasn't injured in the explosion. The meeting, he said, happened in a Denny's restaurant less than two weeks after the rig sank into the Gulf of Mexico.
"You can't allow BP and Transocean to continue doing business this way," Stone said. "When these companies put their savings over safety, they gamble with our lives. They gambled with my life. They gambled with the lives of 11 of my crew members."
He refused to sign the document, he said.
And while the offending companies are saying that they will be paying the claims for the lives they have damaged, Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York was not impressed:
Wow!! We definitely need more Rep. Nadlers in the Congress!!
We should all be enraged these companies caused this disaster, ruined lives and are now STILL doing things on the cheap for the lives they destroyed. Real lives, our fellow Americans who are just trying to make a life for their families. Let us hope that in this case for once justice will be served to Corporate America.