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Readers take shots at Gulf oil spill lawyers

Our Readers Who Comment are trying to decide this morning which is worse: the Gulf oil spill or the liability lawyers who have already filed at least 88 suits seeking compensation for the growing list of victims in that ongoing disaster.

Readers agree that victims should be compensated, but a large percentage of the comments take shots at the legal profession, some with good humor, some without. Readers also hold the federal government and President Obama responsible for lax oversight or for permitting offshore drilling in the first place.

As Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin write, "The law firms now assembling are members of the all-star team of plaintiffs' attorneys. They have experience suing big companies over asbestos, tobacco, oil company waste, breast implants and Chinese drywall... And their ranks include the likes of Erin Brockovich, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and former partners of Johnnie L. Cochran Jr."

We'll start with juke2, who wrote, "Hope BP gets hosed in the law suits. A company which 'well' knows that safety equipment is a must, takes shortcuts which leads to an environmental and social disaster..."

t_carl said, "Just what this country needs - another boondoggle for the lawyers."

NobleDog agreed: "Sadly, the money that will be awarded will find it's way to the lawyers pockets first and what small amount that is left over will go the poor folks that really deserve the money."

nanonano1 offered this creative suggestion: "Draft the lawyers into military service; win the cases and return the lawyers to civilian life. All benefits to the victims."

glitch83 asked, " you want the best of the best? You really think some public attorney could go up against BP?? BP will eat them for lunch - you need the best. Now the question is - how much of a cut are you willing to let them have?..."

losthorizon10, after watching last night's 60 minutes report on the blowout, concluded that "...The bottom line: the blowout was caused by gross negligence on the part of BP. There is no other way to spin it."

To which douglaslbarber responded, "...True, as best I can tell. Also true, the blowout was *permitted* by a regulatory regime which routinely ignored scientists and environmentalists in favor of career bureaucrats in an agency that had become far too cozy with the industry it regulated."

twm1 observed that "Most of the right wingers know better than to try to defend BP openly , but some of these wild indiscriminate attacks on all lawyers seem like a pretty clear effort to discredit any attempt to get BP to actually pay for the disaster they have created."

xdougwhite said, "Time to do an investigation on the Government and why they limited all liability to just $75 million for oil companies. Which Senators pushed this favor through congress? The "little people" are going to get screwed."

20yrskinfan predicted that "You'll never get a red cent from BP or any other companies. These cases will be tied up in court for years, then appealed for more years. Judges will be bribed, politicians will change the laws. Or some unused law from 1492 will be brought up to free the oil companies from all financial burdens. Not a penny paid out until 2025 at the earliest, if any payout at all. It'll go all the way to the Supreme Court..."

concernedcitizen3 wrote, "Reading this makes me sad. The thought of greedy lawyers cicling around the oil spill like vultures is repulsive. The total damage from the oil spill will likely be enormous. The greedy lawyers will ensure that the damage will be even greater."

veritas7 suggested, "Sue Obama and the Federal Government for giving BP Safety awards and not protecting the American People. This is their fault. If this were the Bush Administration the WAPO and the NYT would be asking for his head!!!..."

Guy-Hardrock wrote, "Disgusting... There should of course be compensation for those who truly ARE victims, but this feeding frenzy only make the overall situation WORSE. It adds to the cost of EVERYTHING we buy - that's not a problem if your earnings are measured in millions, as is the case with many of these legal cockroaches - but does nothing but harm everyone else..."

poescrow said, "Before the lawyers start smacking their lips, they should be barred from accepting any clients until this horrendous situation is resolved, if it ever can be done. It's terribly premature on their part to tally up potential winnings, considering the devastation that looms, threatening the nation's environment. Further, I would hope that anyone promoting "drill, baby, drill" will reverse their position. It's just not worth destroying the planet."

We'll close with tinaandreou wrote, "I certainly hope and wish these attorneys can get substantive rewards for the victims of this and the Massey coal-mining disasters. The only thing that drives these corporations is money. To pursue profits, they short-cut safety precautions, pay-off (bribe) officials in regulatory agencies to trust their own internal tests, take them at their word, take short-cuts, rush time-tables, and every cost-cutting measure... A criminal investigation and charges against the executives and those in regulatory agencies who enabled this behavior would hold those at the top personally accountable, and hopefully result in a prison sentence for all responsible..."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  May 17, 2010; 9:15 AM ET
Categories:  Oil  | Tags: BP, Compensation, Gulf, Lawsuits, Liability  
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