By Kristina Rodriguez, Paralegal
As a result of the BP oil spill this summer, not only was the Gulf Coast victimized, another group of people were affected right here in New England; the BP gas station owners. Although they are affiliated with BP, many of them had no choice in rebranding their gas station with the BP logo due to contractual obligations. As the oil spill continued for days, then weeks and then months, the public became incensed and frustrated by BP’s inability to cap the destructive oil spill.
People wanted to punish BP for what they had done to our coast and began to protest by boycotting local BP gas stations in New England. I myself considered joining the boycotts so that I could personally serve some justice on the oil giant. I am from the Gulf Coast, so this situation hit home and was not just a distant incident that bore no direct relation to me. The news of this monstrous oil spill leaking millions of barrels into “my Gulf” left me utterly devastated. I grew up swimming in those clear aqua green waters and eating the best seafood I had ever tasted. To think that all this would be contaminated for years to come because some oil company refused to stop drilling when pressure levels were unsafe was infuriating! Though I was upset, I realized that if we boycott local BP gas stations, these local station owners who are members of our community will go out of business. Though BP might go bankrupt, this would not help since they would not be able to pay any of their claims. The better way to hold BP accountable for its extreme negligence is to demand compensation for all of the damage they have inflicted on innocent people.
In July I met with one of the local BP gas station owners for the first time. His station was the target of boycotters and sales had dropped significantly. This man, who is now our client, had invested all of his money in this business with the hopes of attaining the American dream and was now faced with losing his livelihood, the means to provide for his family. Because of this I became even more determined to hold BP accountable. I immediately began setting up a claim package on his behalf to submit to BP. Every news article, proof of boycotts, and financial records were gathered to show the direct causation between the oil spill and the gas station’s sudden loss of income. All of these items have been submitted with the hope that BP will approve the claim and compensate the claimant. It is a tedious process that takes time more so now than ever since BP has transferred the claims process to another facility. But The Cherrytree Group believes in giving our clients a voice to exact justice and in holding corporations accountable for their avaricious recklessness. This firm works hard to create and submit claim packages to BP on behalf of our clients in return for just compensation for their losses.
Hopefully this spill has been a wake-up call for all of the oil companies to practice more caution and exercise more safety measures. Their profits were not worth the eleven lives lost and the thousands of lives destroyed.