Class Action Lawsuit Against Unum For Spraying Benzene Into the Right Water
The Class Action Lawsuit Against Unum LLC brought a case against Unum Energy, Inc. for their toxic spill. Unum is an organizer of the annual convention of the APHA (American Petroleum Institute), where they also distribute awards from their own oil spills that they have helped clean up. The case was filed on behalf of the Oglala Lakota and its nine tribal members who were among the community who were exposed to the toxic spill. The suit charged Unum with negligent environmental maintenance, violation of the Clean Air Act, and the violation of their easement to drill for and produce petroleum within the state. The suit was ultimately thrown out due to lack of evidence.
There are environmental lawsuits being filed every day for oil spills and industrial pollution.
The lawsuits are generally brought by citizens or non-profit organizations but occasionally corporations as well. Corporate responsibility lawsuits usually involve huge oil spills or contaminated waste in the work place, which in turn force the corporations to take some type of measure to clean it up. For instance: An ecological firm sued a major aluminum manufacturer because their product had been found in groundwater near their plant. That firm settled the suit for a large sum of money.
Unum was not so lucky; the class action lawsuit has been delayed while the company awaits the results of a second investigation.
The second investigation by OSHA exposed little of the environmental problems at Unum’s operation. Unum is still awaiting the results. Hopefully, they will declare the whole thing a big nothing and close shop.
These types of lawsuits have led to some interesting findings in past lawsuits.
The suits have found hazardous levels of benzene and perchlorate in the air, which according to one report could cause infertility. There have also been several cases of cancer. Most of these lawsuits have centered on worker’s compensation for personal injuries and property damage.
There are two types of workers’ comp. One deals with damages for negligence and the other with damage resulting from an accident. If your lawyer can help you win on both counts, you might be entitled to much more than your regular wage. And if you have a dependent child, then that’s even more important.
This kind of class action lawsuit against Unum is unusual; usually the company of the victim is the one who has brought the suit.
In this case, Unum knew about the benzene contamination in the air but did not tell anybody. They didn’t instruct their employees to wear masks or protect themselves and they did not instruct them to use the best equipment to do their jobs. The reason Unum was found to be at fault is because they sold excess oil to Tesoro, which is one of the largest refineries in the world.
If you have a class action lawsuit against Unum, then you may have a chance to receive compensatory damages that include medical costs, punitive damages and additional lost wages.
Some people have already received monetary settlements from these lawsuits and are able to pay their medical bills and provide for their families. It doesn’t matter what you think about the environment or what your own political opinion is. We need to make sure that when we make a decision like this, that we do it with the best interest of all concerned.
There’s no question that Unum knew about benzene contamination. Tesoro’s lawyers obviously weren’t trying to lie about the information, either. So the answer to the original question – who’s at fault for this spill? – simply has to be “none.”