NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana man who helped clean up the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is suing BP, alleging that he has suffered from health problems after being exposed to crude oil and chemicals during the cleanup efforts.
Levy Brunet, a Louisiana resident, filed the suit in U.S. District Court in New Orleans. BP PLC, BP Exploration and Production and BP America Production Co. are named as defendants.
In May 2010, Brunet was hired by BP to drive his commercial and shrimping boat through the water to use his boat’s propeller to stir up the oil, according to the lawsuit.
During the cleanup efforts, Brunet claims that he was exposed to “massive quantities of crude oil, crude oil vapors, dispersants that were being injected into the well site and/or sprayed onto the surface of the water, other gasses or chemicals being released by the uncontrolled well release, as well as fumes from the burning of all these materials, which caused the release of noxious fumes and or particles,” according to court documents.
Brunet alleges that he suffers from memory loss, breathing problems, headaches and eye issues, including a torn retina, as a result of his exposure to crude oil and chemicals.
BP allegedly did not provide respiratory protection against “noxious fumes,” offer the necessary training and equipment or fully explain the hazards of dealing with the chemicals and fumes
Although after each shift, vessel owners would bring their boats to shore and undergo detoxification to remove oil and chemicals, fishing and shrimping vessels like Brunet’s boat were allegedly exempt from that process.
BP declined comment on the case.