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BP settles last Texas City lawsuit

Stephen Beard Nov 10, 2006


SCOTT JAGOW: The biggest workplace disaster of 2005 was the explosion at a BP oil refinery in Texas City. 15 people were killed. Yesterday, BP settled the last of the wrongful death suits against the company. BP agreed to donate millions of dollars among other things. The suit was filed by a woman who lost her parents. More now from Marketplace’s Stephen Beard.

STEPHEN BEARD: 22-year-old Eva Rowe sued BP after she refused to accept a private compensation package from the company.

In settling the case, BP has now agreed to give more than $30 million to hospitals and colleges. Eva Rowe will get an undisclosed sum and the company says it will release some of its internal documents into the public domain.

BP directors will be mightily relieved says Carola Hoyos of the Financial Times. Now they will be spared from appearing in court and they can avoid further damaging revelations about safety lapses:

CAROLA HOYOS: They can better control some of the documents that might leak out of this. I think we will still see some of the documents but it’s not going to be anything like what we would have learned had the trial gone ahead.

BP’s American woes are far from over however. It still faces the threat of a criminal prosecution over the refinery explosion.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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