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Mississippi 232 articles

Halliburton agrees to $1.1-billion resolution of Deepwater Horizon oil spill claims

BP

Beasley Allen lawyers and other members of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) leading the BP oil spill litigation announced they have reached a $1.1-billion settlement with Halliburton Energy Services over its role in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. The settlement, subject to approval by a New Orleans federal court, is to be paid into a trust in three installments over the next two years until all appeals have been resolved. Halliburton, an oil-field services provider that cemented the doomed well a mile beneath the Deepwater Horizon rig, agreed to plead guilty to a criminal charge last year for destroying evidence ... Read More

Whistleblower tips prompted closure of Mississippi cancer clinic

osha whistle

Tips from a group of whistleblowers led to the July 2011 closing of a multi-million cancer treatment facility in Summit, Miss., and the prison sentences of its founder and key employees, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported. The Mississippi Health Department shuttered the Rose Cancer Center for its “unsafe infection control practices” after 11 of the clinic’s patients were hospitalized with the same bacterial infection. Subsequent investigations led to the prosecution of Dr. Meera Sachdeva, who started the clinic in 2005 and received 20 years in federal prison for health care fraud and two counts of making false statements. Dr. Sachdeva was ... Read More

New study confirms BP oil spill is destroying deep-sea coral reefs

BP

BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill had a broader, deeper impact on life in the Gulf of Mexico than researchers previously thought, according to a new study conducted by Pennsylvania State University scientists. The researchers documented their discovery of two partially dead deep-sea coral reefs about 14 miles east of BP’s blown-out Macondo wellhead, ground zero for the largest oil spill ever recorded. Before the researchers discovered these damaged reefs, they only knew of one coral reef that had been devastated by the BP spill, but that reef was little more than 8.5 miles from the Macondo well and in ... Read More

Future looks bleak for oyster production after BP oil spill

oysters

Louisiana oyster beds that have yielded rich harvests for generations now produce little more than dozens of “empty, lifeless oyster shells,” the Associated Press reported, underscoring the death blow dealt by BP’s 2010 oil spill to local fisherman and businesses in some parts of the Gulf Coast. Gulf Coast oyster harvests have declined dramatically in the four years since BP’s Deepwater Horizon explosion released millions of gallons of crude oil into some of the Gulf’s most ecologically sensitive regions. According to the AP, “thousands of acres of oyster beds where oil from the well washed ashore are producing less than ... Read More

New study finds BP oil dispersant chemicals still linger in the Gulf

BP

Chemical oil dispersants BP used in 2010 to break up its Deepwater Horizon oil spill are still turning up in samples collected from the Gulf’s beaches and deep sea corals, a new scientific study has found. Scientists studying the presence the dispersant chemical DOSS (dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate) in the Gulf of Mexico environment expected to see a slower degradation in the deeper, colder areas of the Gulf, but the lingering presence of the chemical along the shore came as a surprise. The study, conducted by scientists from Haverford College and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and published in the journal Environmental ... Read More

BP asks U.S. Supreme Court to hear its oil spill settlement case

BP

As if causing the worst environmental disaster in the nation’s history weren’t enough of a blow to the U.S., BP appears determined to waste millions of taxpayer dollars by fighting every court decision until it gets the outcome it demands. On Friday, BP filed a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, claiming the New Orleans federal court and the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals wrongly approved the multi-billion dollar settlement that the oil giant itself helped draft and then approved in March 2012. BP has been trying to suspend payments on claims to businesses harmed by the 2010 Deepwater ... Read More

Flesh-eating bacteria in Gulf linked to BP oil spill

flesh eating bacteria - Raycom image

Cases of beach-goers contracting the flesh-eating bacteria Vibrio vulnificus continue to occur in the warm water of the Gulf Coast this year, and one Auburn University professor has uncovered a link between the potentially deadly bacteria and tar balls still present in the water after BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Dr. Cova Arias, professor of aquatic microbiology at Auburn University, who has studied the impact of Vibrio on the Gulf’s oyster industry, set out to find if the bacteria could live in the tar still found in the water and along the beaches of the Gulf Coast. According to ... Read More

Honda stripping customers of legal recourse in event of ‘exploding airbag’ injury

Takata airbag - image source alexauto321, wikicommons

Anyone who wants to buy certain used 2001-2011 Honda and Acura vehicles at a Honda dealership will now be required to sign a document agreeing to let Honda off the hook in the event the vehicle’s airbag explodes, maiming or killing the vehicle’s occupants. Honda is one of several carmakers recalling vehicles over faulty airbags made by Japanese supplier Takata. These airbags have the potential to explode even in very low-impact bumps, such as a fender bender, due to a faulty moisture-sensitive inflator that can cause the airbag to burst into the vehicle cabin with excessive force. And the word ... Read More

BP, Anadarko ask appeals court to reconsider Clean Water Act liability issues

BP

BP and its Deepwater Horizon partner Anadarko Petroleum Corp. asked the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals last week for another chance to demonstrate they should not be penalized for Clean Water Act violations as a result of the 2010 Gulf oil spill. According to Law360, the oil companies filed separate petitions for another hearing, claiming as they did the first time the issue was argued in court that the blowout preventer controlled by Transocean should have stopped the oil from escaping, as it was designed to do. However, last month the Fifth Court upheld a lower court ruling rejecting ... Read More

Flesh-eating bacteria kills man after fishing trip in Gulf; how can you protect yourself?

flesh eating bacteria - Raycom image

A man named Nick Duvernay from Ocean Springs, Miss., died Tuesday just days after coming in contact with the flesh-eating bacteria Vibrio vulnificus. This came on the heels of his fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. David Spencer, Sr., has worked with Vibrio vulnificus a lot of over the years. “It is a saltwater-surviving bacteria, so saltwater does not damage the bacteria, it actually lives in saltwater, so we see it in all of our estuaries,” Spencer explained. Duvernay’s family says that he had a weak immune system and Dr. Spencer agrees that this is most likely the ... Read More