BP Sued for Failing to Pay Workers Compensation After Spill Clean-Up

BP Faces Lawsuit for Failing to Pay Workers Compensation After Oil Spill Clean-Up

failing to pay workers compA company that helped provide clean-up services after the 2010 oil spill caused by BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster has filed a lawsuit against the petroleum company for millions of dollars for failing to pay workers compensation costs.

Fluor Corp. is suing British Petroleum (BP) for violating a contractual agreement and failing to pay litigation costs that Fluor incurred from workers comp claims. A subsidiary of Fluor agreed to help BP clean up the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 after the Deepwater Horizon disaster by training unemployed Florida and Alabama residents – whose communities were hit hard by the loss of fishing income – to restore the beaches, along with other services related to the oil spill. However, Fluor only agreed to help BP if the petroleum company would cover legal costs, especially around workers comp.

Fluor said that several workers’ comp claims had already been filed against its logistics-and-personnel support unit, Plant Performance Services. However, BP has so far refused to honor the alleged contract and pay for legal costs related to workers comp and disability claims from the temporary employees.

BP canceled the beach clean-up effort before some of the contracted employees were scheduled to be let go. Because of the loss of income and mounting medical bills, hundreds of former employees have filed workers comp and disability lawsuits against Fluor, Plant Performance, and BP subsidiaries, for misrepresenting the length of the work contracts, and for exposing them to hazardous materials.

Meanwhile, BP faces more legal troubles related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster: the company has spent $14 billion and 70 million man-hours cleaning up the Gulf Coast, and faces an $18 billion fine from a civil lawsuit filed last year.

Employer Retaliation of Workers’ Comp

As an injured worker, you may fear that your employer may retaliate against you for filing and seeking compensation for a workers’ compensation claim. Employees also worry about cooperating in the investigation of and/or testifying in support of an injured co-worker.

In most states, employees have a legal right to be protected from workers’ comp retaliation. If you encounter retaliation from your employer for filing a SC workers’ comp claim, the injured workers lawyers at the Strom Law Firm, LLC can advise you of your legal options.

Examples of Workers Compensation Retaliation:

Most commonly, people think of workers’ comp retaliation as retaliatory discharge or firing an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim.

South Carolina is an at-will employment state, meaning an employer can hire or fire an employee for any reason or no reason at all, subject to certain exceptions.

Employers may still legitimately terminate or discipline any employee, regardless of workers’ compensation status.  However, the employer’s reason for the negative action cannot be a pretext for workers’ compensation retaliation and the negative action may not violate any other employment law(s). Most states have some legal remedy for injured workers retaliation. The right to sue for workers comp retaliation varies from state to state, so it is a good idea to consult a SC work injury lawyer to protect your rights for workplace injury.

The Strom Law Firm Understands Worker’s Comp Legislation

The workers’ comp lawyers at The Strom Law Firm, LLC proudly seek justice on behalf of employees injured or killed on the job who work for private companies, as well as employees working for local county, city, and state government. We are licensed to practice throughout South Carolina, as well as Georgia and New York. If you are confused about worker’s comp laws, or have had your worker’s comp claim denied, contact us. We offer free consultations to discuss the facts of your case. 803.252.4800.