Environmentalists, Lawyers, and Fishermen Go After BP

BP faces over 200 class action lawsuits from people seeking damages from the spill. The Attorney General of Louisiana, James D. "Buddy" Caldwell, has also met with BP executives. Caldwell says that BP has admitted total responsibility for the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, which led to the spill. "We just need them to put things in writing," Caldwell said.

Lawyers had an important role from the very beginning. BP had issued 17-page long agreements to fishermen who wanted to work in the oil spill clean up. According to M. Orr, BP wanted to have the fishermen "sign away their rights."

"It said that fishermen would have to have their own [health] insurance and not BP's. They also couldn't tell anyone what they saw. And, it took away their rights to sue BP if they got sick from the chemicals," M. Orr explained.

Some of the fishermen got lawyers to explain the agreement to them, but it was after a week when hundreds had already signed the contract. The lawyers moved quickly to get a judge to stop BP from getting fishermen to sign the agreements. The judge ordered BP to destroy the agreements.

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