INSTITUTE INDEX: Economic justice eludes BP's Gulf oil spill cleanup workers

Workers cleaning up a Gulf Coast beach following the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon disaster. Many cleanup workers who developed health problems due to on-the-job exposures have been unable to receive economic compensation because of the way the settlement has been structured. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Emily F. Alley via Flickr.)

Date on which a press conference was held in New Orleans to demand compensation for people sickened by BP's 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill off the Louisiana coast: 8/31/2018

Number of coastal residents, first responders, and cleanup workers who've filed claims to receive compensation: more than 37,000

Number that have been approved for compensation: more than 22,700

Of those, number who suffered from acute conditions like rashes, nosebleeds, and shortness of breath and thus received the minimum payment: about 18,000

Minimum payment for cleanup workers who became acutely ill: $1,300

For coastal residents who did: $900

Amount they'll get for actual hospital expenses: $0

Number of claims paid out so far to victims who became seriously and chronically ill: 40

Total amount BP has paid out in medical claims: $67 million

Amount the claims administrator was paid: $155 million

Amount the attorneys representing injured families were paid: $700 million

Year in which the federal judge who handled BP spill-related cases issued a controversial ruling in the cleanup workers' class-action lawsuit that sided with BP's interpretation of a medical settlement agreement: 2014

Because of that ruling, year by which cleanup workers had to be diagnosed by a doctor in order to be entitled to settlement payments, even though cancer and other conditions can take years to develop: 2012

Amount the change saved BP: roughly $1 billion

BP's profits in 2017: $6.2 billion

If claimants decide to pursue their own lawsuit against BP, amount they must pay in filing fees: $400

Number of people who've signed an online petition demanding that the courts and BP take care of sickened cleanup workers: over 97,000

(Click on figure to go to source.)