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Louisiana parish to decide how to spend BP settlement

When the BP Deep Horizon oil spill occurred on April 20, 2010, it forever changed the landscape of the Gulf Coast. Communities throughout the coast scrambled to recover from the disaster as fishing and tourism were among the many industries that were negatively affected. One way cities tried to recover is to take legal action against BP. After years of deliberation, some communities are finally receiving their portion of their settlement. Now, a new question is presented: what is the best way to utilize these funds?

One such community is Jefferson Parish. The Parish has been awarded just under $35 million in settlement money. The Jefferson Chamber of Commerce is now meeting to determine the best use of the money. The top choices for appropriation are coastal restoration, placing all the money in a reserve fund and paying down Parish debt. One Councilman is hoping to divide the funds among all the top choices.

This money is part of a larger settlement. After the Horizon oil spill, BP set apart $1 billion to help local government agencies to rebuild. Louisiana was heavily affected by the oil spill, but in total, five states were affected.

Companies like BP not only has a responsibility to local communities, they are also responsible to their workers. Ship owners and all companies that employ offshore workers are responsible for the safety of their workers. When these workers are injured, the companies are also responsible for their care. The Jones Act allows injured workers to file a legal claim. Any worker that has been injured during the course of their work may want to seek legal counsel to determine the strength of a claim.

Source: The Times-Picayune, "Jefferson Chamber of Commerce calls for deliberation on BP money," Ben Myers, August 10, 2015

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