Many people across South Louisiana are suffering from the sudden explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oilrig in the Gulf of Mexico just two weeks ago. Friends and families of the 11 workers who were lost in the accident are mourning and grieving, while thousands of fishermen, shrimpers and oystermen anxiously wait for news about how the spill will affect their livelihoods for years to come. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and all those who have been impacted by this disaster.
Now is the time for our community to come together to support those who are suffering and do everything we can to minimize any further damages. Now is not the time for ambulance-chasing, greedy personal injury lawyers to disturb the grieving and recovery processes. Yet even as events are still unfolding, teams of these lawyers are flocking to Louisiana from all over the U.S., and we’re already being bombarded by shameful personal injury ads from those seeking to make millions off the tragedy.
Such ambulance-chasing has long been a part of the legal profession. Indeed, just days after the recent coal-mining tragedy, lawyers in West Virginia were running ads looking for clients– even before the bodies of the missing miners had been recovered and returned to their families. This kind of behavior by greedy personal injury lawyers is unethical, and the courting of emotional victims in the immediate aftermath of a disaster should not be tolerated. There is a time for mourning and recovery that should be respected. There will be plenty of time for determining fault and assessing damages later.
Melissa Landry is Executive Director of Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch.