March 14 or 15,
1910 - Union Oil Company's Lakeview well in
Taft, CA blew (2,200 feet below surface); 18,000 barrels per day
flowed, later reached uncontrolled peak of 100,000 barrels per
day (destroyed the derrick); produced 9 million barrels of oil
in 18 months (about 378 million gallons); continued for year and
a half; biggest oil spill in U.S.
(Taft, CA) - 1910
Fifty-foot-tall steel storage tank (owned
Industrial Alcohol), filled with 2.3 million gallons of
exploded on Boston's North End industrial waterfront;
wave of molasses, traveling @ 35 mph killed 21, injured 150, caused widespread destruction;
125 lawsuits filed;
longest investigation in history of
Massachusetts court system at the time;
1926 - Massachusetts courts concluded
tank had been improperly designed, failure due entirely to
Great Molasses Flood
- Boston 1919
28, 1942 - Fire destroyed Cocoanut Grove
nightclub in Boston; killed nearly 500 people.
July 6, 1944
- In Hartford, CT, fire broke out under the big top of
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus; 8,000 spectators
inside; 169 people killed (two-thirds children), 682 injured; tent's ropes burned, its
poles gave way, whole burning big top crashed, consumed those who remained inside;
over in 10 minutes - some 100 children, 60 of their adult escorts were
dead or dying; investigation revealed tent had
undergone treatment with flammable paraffin thinned with three
parts of gasoline to make it waterproof; Ringling Bros. and
Barnum & Bailey Circus eventually agreed to pay $5 million in
compensation, several organizers convicted on manslaughter
charges; 1950 - Robert D. Segee, of Circleville, Ohio, confessed to
starting Hartford circus fire; claimed he had
been an arsonist since age of six, apparition of
Indian on flaming horse often visited him, urged him to
set fires; November 1950 - Segee was
sentenced to two consecutive terms of 22 years in prison,
maximum penalty in Ohio at the time.
April 2, 1973
- ITT pled guilty to asking CIA to affect Chilean President
November 13, 1974
- Karen Silkwood, Oklahoma metallurgy worker at Kerr-McGee
Cimarron plutonium nuclear processing plant near Crescent, OK,
blew whistle on blatant worker safety violations at plant; she
was purposefully contaminated, psychologically
tortured, forced off road, died while driving to interview with New York Times reporter, David Burnham;
files were missing from car wreck; FBI investigation
concluded accident (not generally believed to have been
November 22, 1977
- Federal judge fined Phillips Petroleum $30,000 fine for
using clandestine corporate fund to illegally funnel
contributions to various political campaigns; found Phillips guilty of filing fudged
August 7, 1978
- President Jimmy Carter declared federal emergency at Love
Canal (neighborhood in Niagara Falls, NY); those living closest
to site were relocated; December 20, 1979
- Environmental Protection Agency announced that Department of Justice (on behalf of EPA) filed four suits
against Hooker Chemical Co., its parent corporation,
Occidental Petroleum Corporation; requested company clean up
four chemical waste dumpsites in Niagara Falls, NY, which
posed substantial danger to residents of area; suits sought
total of $117,580,000 in clean-up costs from Hooker,
reimbursement for more than $7 million spent by Federal agencies
in emergency measures at Hooker's Love Canal waste disposal
site, unspecified civil penalties; suits specified that Hooker
disposed of 199,900 tons of chemical waste at our sites
between 1942 and 1975, Olin Corporation disposed of 66,000
tons of chemical waste at 102nd Street
landfill; EPA scientists found 82
toxic chemicals in air, water, soil samples near dumps;
numerous toxic chemicals (dozen of which were carcinogenic)
discarded at Love Canal over past 30 years triggered several
health problems (miscarriages) among area's residents, transformed whole sections of
community into ghost town; June 22, 1994 -
Occidental Petroleum agreed to pay $98 million to cover New York
State's cleanup costs; December 22, 1995 -
Occidental Petroleum agreed to pay $129 million to cover federal government's cleanup costs at Love Canal.
March 28, 1979
- America's worst commercial nuclear accident occurred inside
Unit Two reactor at Three Mile Island Nuclear Power
Plant (three-months-old) near Middletown, PA (on island in
Susquehanna River about 11 miles south of Harrisburg); released
above-normal levels of radiation into central
Pennsylvania countryside; officials of Nuclear Regulatory
Commission claimed radiation outside plant far less than
produced by diagnostic X-rays; some of 60 employees on
duty were contaminated, did not require hospitalization; 15,000
people living within mile of plant not evacuated,
'general emergency' declared.
March 13, 1980
- Jury in Winamac, IN found Ford Motor Co. innocent of
reckless homicide in fiery deaths of three young women
riding in Ford Pinto.
March 30, 1980
- Phillips Petroleum's Alexander Kielland platform
in North Sea collapsed, 123 killed; housed 208 men who worked on
nearby Edda oil rig in Ekofisk field, 235 miles east of
Dundee, Scotland; platform, held up by two large pontoons, had
bedrooms, kitchens, lounges, provided place for workers
to spend their time when not working; investigation revealed previously undetected crack in one of main legs
of platform caused structure’s collapse.
May 21, 1980
- President Carter declared state of emergency at Love Canal
in Niagara Falls, NY; property had been dumping site for
Hooker Chemicals and Plastics; 1981 - plans made to evacuate 710
families, ordered after study reported that 30% of residents in area had suffered chromosome damage caused by
toxic chemicals leaking through ground into their homes.
September 29, 1982
- Seven people in Chicago area died after unknowingly taking
Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules laced with cyanide; suspect for
murders never found; led to safety seals on most
February 14, 1984
- Drs. Thomas E. Starzl, Henry T. Bahnson performed world's
first heart-liver double transplant in six-year-old Stormie
Jones from Texas at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh; had blood
levels of cholesterol almost five times afe level; lived
until age 13.
December 3, 1984
- More than 4,000 people in Bhopal, India
(360 miles south of New Delhi) died after more than 40
tons of highly poisonous methyl isocyanate gas leaked in 40-minute period from one of three underground tanks at pesticide plant owned by Union Carbide; tank valve
apparently malfunctioned after increase in pressure.; plant opened in 1977, produced about 2,500 tons of
pesticides per year; gas produced heavy discharge from eyes;
extremely irritated skin, internal
organs; could lead to enough fluid
accumulation to cause drowning; local authorities arrested five
factory officials, charged with criminal negligence;
Indian government sued Union Carbide in civil case, settled
in 1989 for $470 million.
- Drug maker A. H. Robins set aside $615 million to settle
claims brought by users of its contraceptive device, Dalkon
shield; company had filed for bankruptcy to protect itself from
lawsuits brought by hundreds of thousands of women who claimed
that Dalkon Shield caused infertility or infections.
April 8, 1985
- India filed suit against Union Carbide over Bhopal
November 19, 1985
- Pennzoil won $10.53 billion verdict in case against Texaco;
stemmed from Pennzoil's attempted acquisition of Getty Oil (had
agreed to pay $5.3 billion for family-run oil company
without written contract signed by both parties; Texaco
doubled Pennzoil's bid, Getty accepted, Pennzoil sued);
state-court jury ruled that Pennzoil and Getty had engaged in
binding contract, single biggest civil verdict
in court history.
June 3, 1986
- Alabama jury awarded $150 million in punitive damages to Alex
Hardy against General Motors in Chevy Blazer accident; truck
spun out of control, its axle snapped, door latch failed to stay
shut, Hardy ejected from vehicle, paralyzed; GM general council, Thomas Gottschalk,
dismissed "completely outrageous" decision as "the crowning
example of a state tort system gone berserk"; Hardy's legal team presented seemingly damning
evidence against GM, including internal documents in which company's own engineers conceded that Blazer's latch was "
substandard", prone to failure; revealed that GM had decided against recalling, repairing
vehicles with defective latches because it deemed $916
million cost too great.
August 22, 1986
- Kerr-McGee Corp. agreed to pay estate of late Karen Silkwood
$1.38 million, settled 10-year-old nuclear
February 12, 1987
- Texas court upheld initial 1985 decision against
Texaco ($10.5 billion fine) for having initiated illegal
takeover bid for Getty Oil after Pennzoil had already made $5.3 billion bid
in legally binding contract to which Getty had consented (despite never signing formal contract).
May 9, 1988
- Jury found Stella Nickell guilty of murder; first person
tried, convicted for committing murder using product
tampering; June 17, 1988 - sentenced to 90 years;
June 11, 1986 - 40-year-old Washington state bank
manager, Sue Snow, woke up with headache at 6 a.m., took two Extra-Strength Excedrin capsules;
died in few hours from cyanide poisoning; Bristol-Myers
nationally recalled product to avert more deaths; FBI
crime lab Washington, DC discovered tainted capsules
contained minute specks of green crystal-like substance, Algae
Destroyer; law enforcement officials discovered that Stella
Nickell owned a fish tank, had bought Algae
Destroyer from pet store prior to murders, took out three life insurance policies on her
husband in year prior to his death.
July 6, 1988
- Fire on Occidental Petroleum's Piper Alpha drilling
platform, 120 miles off north-east coast of Scotland, killed
167 workers; largest, oldest platform in North Sea
oilfield; 300 deaths on Britain's 123 oil installations (often
caused by bad weather) since drilling began in North Sea in
October 13, 1988
- U.S. district court handed down record-setting $115 million
settlement for fraud against Sundstrand Corp., aerospace and
industrial parts company (over-billing on sales of parts to Pentagon); pleaded guilty to padding bills by "millions of
dollars," used money to pay for "unallowable" expenses
(sauna sessions, servants hired for company officials, confessed to improperly wining, dining
defense workers as ploy to "improve (the company's) ability to
market its products to the Defense Department."
February 14, 1989
- Union Carbide agreed to pay $470 million to government of
India in court-ordered settlement of 1984 Bhopal gas leak
March 24, 1989
- Worst oil spill in U. S. territory occurred as supertanker
Exxon Valdez ran aground on reef in Alaska's Prince William
Sound, leaked 11 million gallons of crude; wind and
currents spread oil more than 100 miles from its source,
eventually polluted more than 700 miles of coastline; hundreds
of thousands of birds, animals adversely affected by
January 29, 1990
- Former Exxon Valdez skipper Joseph Hazelwood went on trial in
Anchorage, Alaska, on charges stemming from nation's worst
February 27, 1990
- Exxon Corp., Exxon Shipping indicted on 5 criminal
March 22, 1990 -
Jury in Anchorage, AK, found former tanker captain Joseph
Hazelwood innocent of three major charges in connection with tExxon Valdez oil spill, convicted him of minor charge of
negligent discharge of oil.
March 23, 1990
- Judge in Anchorage, AK sentenced
former Exxon Valdez Captain Joseph Hazelwood to help clean up Prince William
Sound, pay $50,000 in restitution for his role in 1989
February 9, 1991
- Japan's worst nuclear accident happened at Mihama when pipe in steam generator burst, leaked 55 tons of radioactive
primary (reactor) coolant water into secondary
steam-generating circuit; radiation into atmosphere kept
to small amount; no deaths resulted.
March 13, 1991
- Exxon paid $1-billion dollars in fines, cleanup of Valdez
July 10, 1992
- Alaska court of appeals overturned conviction of Joseph
Hazelwood, former captain of oil tanker Exxon Valdez; successfully argued he was entitled to immunity from
prosecution because he had reported oil spill to authorities
20 minutes after ship ran aground.
February 8, 1993
- General Motors sued NBC, alleged that program ''Dateline
NBC'' had rigged two crashes to show that GM pickups were prone
to fires; NBC settled lawsuit following day.
June 13, 1994
- Jury in Anchorage, AK, blamed recklessness by Exxon
Corp. and Capt. Joseph Hazelwood for Exxon Valdez disaster,
allowied victims of nation's worst oil spill to seek $15
billion in damages.
February 17, 1995
- Federal judge allowed lawsuit claiming U.S. tobacco makers knew
nicotine was addictive, manipulated its levels to keep
June 3, 1996
- Alex Hardy and his wife claimed that General Motors, maker of
Chevy Blazer, had knowingly sold vehicles with defective door
latches (fell asleep at wheel, car turned over, axle snapped,
door latch failed to stay shut, he was thrown, paralyzed);
brought case to Alabama's courts; jury slapped GM with
$150 million in punitive damages; internal GM documents showed
company's engineers conceded that Blazer's latch was "substandard", prone to failure; revealed that GM had decided
against recalling, repairing vehicles with defective latches
because it cost too much - estimated $916 million.
November 12, 1996
- Reverend Jesse Jackson threatened to lead potentially
crippling boycott against Texaco if company failed to settle
lingering $520 million racial-discrimination lawsuit (filed in 1994
by six Texaco
employees; mushroomed into complaint
backed by some 1,400 workers;
revelation of "secret" audio tape captured Texaco
executives making racial slurs, plotting to derail lawsuit);
November 15, 1996 -
what was believed to be $175 million settlement in case (included one-time salary boost for minority employees,
establishment of "diversity training, sensitivity programs");
- Richard Lundwall, Robert Ulrich, two
executives captured on tape, stood trial on charges of
conspiracy, obstruction of justice (acquitted of those
charges in 1998);
January 8, 1997
- Texaco Inc. took action against David Keough (assistant
treasurer at Texaco's finance insurance subsidiary), one of executives surreptitiously caught on
1996 tape making racist jokes, admitting to destroying potentially incriminating documents.
March 20, 1997
- Liggett Group, maker of Chesterfield cigarettes, settled
22 state lawsuits, admitted industry marketed cigarettes
to teenagers, agreed to warn on every pack that smoking is
May 6, 1997
- Hemophiliacs who contracted AIDS between 1978 and 1985 from
tainted blood products accepted $600 million settlement from
four health-care companies.
June 20, 1997
- Tobacco industry agreed to massive settlement in
exchange for major relief from mounting lawsuits, legal
August 25, 1997
- Tobacco industry agreed to $11.3 billion settlement
with state of Florida.
October 7m 1997
Chrysler recalled 1.1 million minivans (at estimated cost of
roughly $30 million);
October 8, 1997
- Federal jury ordered Chrysler to pay $260 million to Jiminez
family, whose son, Sergei, was killed after being thrown from third seat of Chrysler minivan
in 1987 accident (Jiminez's Dodge Caravan hit by
another vehicle at five miles per hour), minivan's rear liftgate malfunctioned, back door flew open, boy ejected on to
pavement; 37 deaths
traced to faulty liftgate latches on Chrysler's minivans between
1984-1994; 100 lawsuits filed.
June 10, 1998
- Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America, Inc. (MMMA) agreed
to settle sexual harassment lawsuit
(its second -
paid $9.5 million in 1997 to settle private suit filed by 29
female plant workers);
U.S. Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit
on behalf of 300 female workers at
Mitsubishi's Normal, IL, plant, against carmaker in spring of 1996
(groped by male counterparts, forced to
trade sexual favors for job security);
settlement called for MMMA to pay
unprecedented $34 million to female workers.
March 30, 1999
- A jury in Portland, OR ordered Philip Morris to pay $81
million to the family of a man who died of lung cancer after
smoking Marlboros for four decades.
July 7, 1999
- Jury in Miami held cigarette makers liable for making
defective product that caused emphysema, lung cancer, other
October 7, 1999
- American Home Products Corp. agreed to pay up to $4.83 billion
to settle claims that fen-phen diet drug combination caused
dangerous heart valve problems.
August 9, 2000
- Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. announced it was recalling 6.5
million tires that had been implicated in hundreds of accidents,
at least 46 deaths.
May 19, 2003
- WorldCom Inc. agreed to pay investors $500 million to settle
civil fraud charges.
June 9, 2004
- Federal Communications Commission agreed to record $1.75
million settlement with Clear Channel to resolve indecency
complaints against Howard Stern, other radio personalities.
June 22, 2004
- Federal judge approved class-action sex-discrimination
lawsuit representing 1.6 million female workers against
August 19, 2005
- Texas jury found pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. liable for
death of man who'd taken once-popular painkiller Vioxx; awarded his widow $253.4 million in damages
(figure to about $26 million due
to Texas caps on
punitive damages; Merck
October 11, 2005
agreed to pay $240 million to Ford Motor Company in settlement
for claims related to 2000 recall of defective tires (6.5
million, especially on Ford Explorer sport utility vehicles); at
least 271 persons reported killed, hundreds injured in
accidents involving Firestone AT, ATX tires; Bridgestone
blamed Ford for vehicle defects vs. Ford's maintaining that tires were at fault; Bridgestone severed its 50-year business
relationship with Ford.
May 15, 2007
- Tyco International agreed to pay almost $3 billion to
settle class-action lawsuits filed by investors by actions of L.
Dennis Kozlowski (former CEO), Mark H. Schwartz (former CFO),
PricewaterhouseCoopers (auditor); largest payment ever by
company in this kind of litigation (fourth in terms of total
payments to investors in multiple defendant suits - Enron,
January 15, 2009
- Eli Lilly & Co. settled false claims suit,
associated with off-label
marketing scheme for its prescription drug, Zyprexa(R), for $100
million; brought by six former Lilly drug
marketing representative whistleblowers
(all fired or forced to resign),
in February 2003, for wrongful termination;
largest qui tam settlement in
history of False Claims Act; Zyprexa(R) - Lilly's
top-selling drug with worldwide sales of nearly $40 billion
since approval in 1996 (substantial amount of sales for
off-label uses, particularly in children, elderly); U.S.
Attorney's Office for Eastern District of Pennsylvania announced
Eli Lilly agreed to plead guilty to misdemeanor criminal charge,
pay $600 million for illegally promoting Zyprexa (meant for
schizophrenia and serious bipolar symptoms) for use with
unapproved symptoms (off-label use allowed by doctors, not
manufacturers), to pay federal and state governments more than
$1.4 billion, to pay $800 million in civil penalties to end
civil investigations of Medicaid, Medicare fraud conducted by
federal government, 30 states (six whistle-blowers get 18% of
federal, qualifying states' recoveries); company paid about $2.5
billion (fraction of nearly $40 billion in drug's sales) to
settle various state, federal, individual plaintiffs lawsuits
related to off-label marketing of Zyprexa, drug's side effects
(weight gain, diabetes).
April 20, 2010
- Deepwater Horizon, semi-submersible offshore drilling rig in
Gulf of Mexico, operated by British Petroleum (leased from
Transocean), exploded and caught fire; 126 people board: 17
injured, 11 missing (presumed dead);
April 22, 2010 - Deepwater Horizon sank;
April 24, 2010 -
underwater "riser" structure, connects rig with well, damaged,
oil leaking into ocean; initial estimates of 1,000 barrels/day
dumped into Gulf of Mexico's ecosystems;
April 29, 2010 - leak spewed equivalent
of 5,000 barrels of oil per day; slick reached Mississippi
Delta; April 30, 2010
- slick estimated to cover 6,000 square miles (area
approximately equivalent to that of Jamaica);
May 27, 2010 -
attempted "top kill" operation to plug oil well (abandoned after
few days); President Obama imposed six-month moratorium on
deepwater drilling in Gulf of Mexico;
June 3, 2010
- unsolved problem spread (nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil
leaked into Gulf of Mexico); July
15, 2010 - BP capped well tightly;
August 5, 2010 - 'a
static kill': BP poured concrete into well over tons of mud
previously poured into well.
BP oil spill
in Gulf of Mexico
(American Home Products), Alicia Mundy (2001).
Dispensing with the Truth: The Victims, the Drug Companies, and
the Dramatic Story Behind the Battle over Fen-Phen. (New
York, NY: St. Martin's Press, 402 p.). Washington Bureau Chief
for Mediaweek, Contributing Editor at Washingtonian magazine.
American Home Products Corporation--Trials, litigation, etc.;
Wrongful death--Massachusetts; Fenfluramine--Side effects.
(Blue Diamond Coal Company), Gerald M. Stern
The Scotia Widows: Inside Their Lawsuit Against Big Daddy Coal.
(New York, NY: Random House, 145 p.). Blue Diamond Coal Company
--Trials, litigation, etc.; Trials --Kentucky --Letcher County;
Mine explosions --Kentucky --Letcher County.
campaign against powerful corporate interests, judge who
protected them. March 9, 1976 - explosion killed fifteen miners
working nearly three and a half miles underground; March 11,
1976 - second explosion killed eleven rescue workers; 15 widows
sued coal company in epic four-year legal struggle; won despite
obstacles; helped to inspire Federal Mine Safety and Health Act
of 1977 (changed safety regulations for coal mines).
(BP Spill), Bob Cavnar (2010).
Disaster on the Horizon: High Stakes, High Risks, and the Story
Behind the Deepwater Well Blowout. (White River
Junction, VT: Chelsea Green, 224 p.). Formerly President and
Chief Executive Officer of Milagro Exploration.
What happened in
the Gulf: 1) collusion between BP, government to hide severity
of spill; 2) why blowout preventer technology failed; 3) Obama
administration's $20 billion deal with BP; 4) how BP blamed
others for its mistakes; 5) BP's corner cutting on safety; 6)
risky top kill procedure; 7) Obama's failure to take advice from
industry experts; why deep water drilling; how to avoid these
disasters in future.
(BP Spill), William R. Freudenburg and Robert
Blowout in the Gulf: The BP Oil Spill Disaster and the Future of
Energy in America. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 240
p.). Former Dehlsen Professor of Environmental Studies
(University of California, Santa Barbara); Professor of
Sociology (University of Louisiana at Lafayette). BP (Firm); BP
Deepwater Horizon Explosion and Oil Spill, 2010; Offshore oil
well drilling --Political aspects --United States.
Disaster waiting to happen -some in industry cut corners, most federal
regulators did not notice; American taxpayers
receive lower fraction of income from oil than in almost any
other nation; BP's Oil Spill Response Plan - pure
fantasy; future emphasis: true prevention,
risk-management policies based on better
understanding of humans, hardware.
(BP Spill), Peter Lehner, Bob Deans
In Deep Water: The Anatomy of a Disaster, the Fate of the Gulf,
and Ending Our Oil Addiction. (New York, NY:
Experiment, 176 p.). Executive Director of the Natural Resources
Defense Council; Former Chief Asia Correspondent (Atlanta
Journal-Constitution). British Petroleum -- history; Deepwater
Hrizon; oil spills - history. April 20, 2010 - Deepwater
Horizon's well exploded, killed 11; estimated 200 million
gallons of crude oil spewed into Gulf of Mexico over next two
months; oil slick covered 2,500 square miles, killed wildlife,
menaced coastline, thousands of jobs from Texas to Florida Keys,
beyond; environmental, human toll of this tragedy; wasteful
over-reliance on oil comes at ever-greater cost to planet.
(BP Spill), Loren C. Steffy (2010).
Drowning in Oil: BP and the Reckless Pursuit of Profit.
(New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 256 p.). Business Columnist (Houston
Chronicle). Petroleum industry and trade -- Mexico, Gulf of;
Industrial productivity -- Mexico, Gulf of; Oil spills --
Cleanup -- Mexico, Gulf of; Nature -- Effect of human beings on
-- Mexico, Gulf of; British Petroleum Company.
100 years of BP
corporate history - early exploration in Middle East to energy
giant; roots of Gulf oil spill in unwritten bargain between oil
producers, consumers (drive search for new oil supplies faster,
farther, deeper); history of cost cutting in pursuit of profits
(John Browne, Anthony Hayward); how lack of corporate
responsibility, government oversight led to biggest offshore oil
spill in U.S. history; energy industry: its environmental
impact, intense competition among stakeholders in today's oil
(BP Spill), Joel Achenbach (2011).
A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea: The Race to Kill the BP Oil
Gusher. (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 288 p.).
Reporter (Washington Post). Offshore oil well drilling
--Technological innovations; Oil well cementing; Technology and
state --United States; BP Deepwater Horizon Explosion and Oil
Spill, 2010; Offshore oil well drilling --Political aspects
--United States. Controversies, miscalculations, frustrations, technical triumphs
of BP engineers, government scientists who worked to find way to plug
Macondo well; government
did not have means to solve problem; private sector had wrong tools; remotely operated vehicles performed challenging
technical maneuvers on seafloor; government investigation into
(BP Spill), Antonia Juhasz (2011).
Black Tide: The Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill.
(Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 384 p.). Director of the Energy Program at
Global Exchange. British Petroleum -- history; oil spills --
Gulf of Mexico. British Petroleum's catastrophic spill in Gulf -
human tragedy, life-changing repercussions, people who are to
blame; human failings, human cost of largest oil disaster in
American history; how it could easily happen
(BP Spill), John Konrad and Tom Shroder
Fire on the Horizon: The Untold Story of the Gulf Oil Disaster.
(New York, NY: Harper, 288 p.). Former employee Transocean Ltd.
(owner of Deepwater Horizon); Former Editor, Writer (Washington
Post). BP Deepwater Horizon Explosion and Oil Spill, 2010;
Underwater explosions --Mexico, Gulf of; Offshore oil well
drilling --Mexico, Gulf of; Petroleum industry and trade
--Accidents --Mexico, Gulf of. April 20, 2010 -
half-billion-dollar oil rig rig blew up, killed 11 people,
spewed more than 200 million gallons of crude oil from 3
mile-deep hole in Gulf of Mexico; life of Deepwater Horizon oil
rig, from construction in South Korea in 2000 to journey around
world to disastrous end; day-to-day lives, struggles of rig
workers; engineering hubris at odds with earth, corporate greed,
heroism on board.
(BP Spill), National Commission on
the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (2011).
Deep Water: The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore
Drilling. (National Commission on the BP Deepwater
Horizon Oil Spill, 370 p.). April 20, 2010 - Macondo well blew,
killed 11 men; began catastrophe that sank Deepwater Horizon
drilling rig, spilled nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil into
Gulf of Mexico; disrupted entire region's economy, damaged
fisheries and critical habitats, brought vividly to light risks
of deepwater drilling for oil and gas; President Obama appointed
7-member Commission to investigate disaster, analyze its causes
and effects, recommend actions necessary to minimize risks
(BP Spill), Stanley Reed, Alison
In Too Deep: BP and the Drilling Race That Took It Down.
(Hoboken, NJ: Bloomberg Press, 248 p.). Former London Bureau
Chief of BusinessWeek; investigative reporter at Bloomberg News.
BP (Firm); BP Deepwater Horizon Explosion and Oil Spill, 2010;
Oil wells --Mexico, Gulf of --Blowouts. Why
these disasters always happen to BP, not to other large oil
built on risk-taking, cost-cutting;
practices of former BP CEO John Browne may have much to do
(BP Spill), Carl Safina (2011).
A Sea in Flames: The Deepwater Horizon Oil Blowout.
(New York, NY: Crown, 368 p.). Oceanographer and
Conservationist. BP Deepwater Horizon Explosion and Oil Spill,
2010 --Environmental aspects; BP Deepwater Horizon Explosion and
Oil Spill, 2010 --Social aspects; Oil spills --Mexico, Gulf of.
Environmental, social consequences of spill from perspective of
those directly affected by it; shocking manmade environmental
disaster, its occurence with respect to oil industry’s,
government’s complete inability to adequantely respond,
inevitable environmental effects; perfect storm of deregulation
and drilling incentives; intricate chain of misjudgments by BP,
Transocean, Halliburton; 4.9 billion barrels that gushed into
Gulf of Mexico; numbers of dolphins, birds, sea turtles that
perished; behind scenes with fishermen, oystermen, oilmen whose
lives, habitats have been irreparably changed.
(Champion International), Richard A. Bartlett
Troubled Waters: Champion International and the Pigeon River
Controversy. (Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee
Press, 348 p. ). Champion International Corporation; Paper
industry --Waste disposal --Environmental aspects --Pigeon River
(N.C. and Tenn.); Waste disposal in rivers, lakes, etc.
--Environmental aspects --Pigeon River (N.C. and Tenn.); Water
--Pollution --Pigeon River (N.C. and Tenn.).
(ChevronTexaco), Lou Dematteis, Kayana
Crude Reflections: Oil, Ruin and Resistance in the Amazon
Rainforest. (San Francisco, CA: City Lights Books, 128
p.). Former Staff Photographer with Reuters. Oil spills
--Environmental aspects --Amazon River Region; Oil spills
--Environmental aspects --Amazon River Region --Pictorial works.
Human, environmental impact of oil drilling in Ecuadorian
Amazon; medical experts
predict thousands of deaths from cancer, disappearance of five
indigenous rainforest communities due to pollution; 1964-1992 - Texaco built,
operated oil production facilities in northern region of
Ecuadorian Amazon; May 2003 - affected people of Amazon filed
suit against ChevronTexaco (toxic contamination, roughly 30
times greater than reported Exxon Valdez spill).
Peter H. Schuck (1986).
Agent Orange on Trial: Mass Toxic Disasters in the Courts.
(Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 347
p.). Simeon E. Baldwin Professor of Law (Yale University).
Reutershan, Paul, d. 1978 -- Trials, litigation, etc.; Dow
Chemical Company -- Trials, litigation, etc.; Products liability
-- Agent Orange -- United States; Trials (Products liability) --
(Evergreen Resources), Joseph Hilldorfer and
Robert Dugoni (2004).
The Cyanide Canary. (New York, NY: Free Press, 336
p.). Special Agent for the Environmental Protection Agency.
Elias, Allan; Evergreen Resources (Firm); Offenses against the
environment --Idaho --Soda Springs; Fertilizer industry
--Accidents --Idaho --Soda Springs; Trials (Offenses against the
environment) --Idaho. Scott Dominguez (22) pulled unconscious
from cyanide-laced storage tank owned by Evergreen Resources
(Soda Springs, ID); struggle for justice for one young man
became fight by EPA for its very ability to enforce nation's
environmental laws, to bring environmental polluters to justice.
(Exxon), Bruce M. Owen ... [et al.] (1995). u>
The Economics of a Disaster: The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.
(Westport, CT: Quorum Books, 200 p.). Exxon Valdez (Ship);
=Water--Pollution--Economic aspects--Alaska--Prince William
Sound; Oil spills--Economic aspects--Alaska--Prince William
(Exxon), David Lebedoff (1997).
Cleaning Up: The Story Behind the Biggest Legal Bonanza of Our
Time. (New York, NY: Free Press, 321 p.). Hazelwood,
Joseph Jeffrey, 1946- --Trials, litigation, etc.; Exxon
Corporation--Trials, litigation, etc.; Exxon Shipping
Company--Trials, litigation, etc.; Exxon Valdez (Ship); Oil
spills--Law and legislation--Alaska; Oil spills--Alaska--Prince
William Sound; Liability for oil pollution
damages--Alaska--Prince William Sound Region. =
(Exxon), John Keeble (1999).
Out of the Channel: The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in Prince William
Sound. (Cheney, WA: Eastern Washington University Press,
363 p. [2nd ed.]). Exxon Valdez (Ship); Alyeska Pipeline Service
Company; Oil spills--Environmental aspects--Alaska--Prince
William Sound Region; Oil spills--Economic
aspects--Alaska--Prince William Sound Region;
William Sound Region.
(Ford), James S. Kunen (1994).
Reckless Disregard: Corporate Greed, Government Indifference,
and the Kentucky School Bus Crash. (New York, NY: Simon
& Schuster, 379 p.). Ford Motor Company--Trials, litigation,
etc.; Trials (Murder)--Kentucky--Carrollton; Criminal liability
of juristic persons--United States; School buses--Safety
regulations--United States; Corporations--Corrupt
practices--United States; Drinking and traffic accidents--United
(Ford), Adam L. Penenberg (2003).
Tragic Indifference: One Man's Battle with the Auto Industry
over the Dangers of SUVs. (New York, NY: HarperBusiness,
342 p.). Turner, Clyde "Tab"; Ford Motor Company--History;
Firestone Tire and Rubber Company--History; Products
liability--Automobiles--United States; Sport utility
vehicles--Defects--Law and legislation--United States; Sport
utility vehicles--Defects--United States--History;
Automobiles--Tires--Defects--United States--History; Explorer
sport utility vehicle.
(General Public Utilities), Mark Stephens
Three Mile Island. (New York, NY: Random House, 245 p.).
Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant (Pa.); Nuclear power
(General Public Utilities), Daniel F. Ford
Three Mile Island: Thirty Minutes to Meltdown. (New
York, NY: Penguin, 271 p.). Three Mile Island Nuclear Power
(General Public Utilities), Mike Gray and Ira
The Warning: Accident at Three Mile Island. (New York,
NY: Norton, 287 p.). Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant
(Pa.); Nuclear power plants--Pennsylvania--Harrisburg
(General Public Utilities), Edward J. Walsh
Democracy in the Shadows: Citizen Mobilization in the Wake of
the Accident at Three Mile Island. (New York, NY:
Greenwood Press, 227 p.). Associate Professor of Sociology
(Pennsylvania State University). Metropolitan Edison Company;
Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant (Pa.); Nuclear power
plants--Pennsylvania--Public opinion; Public
opinion--Pennsylvania; Antinuclear movement--Pennsylvania.
(General Public Utilities), J. Samuel Walker
Three Mile Island: A Nuclear Crisis in Historical Perspective.
(Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 303 p.).
Historian of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant (Pa.); Nuclear power
accident in history of commercial nuclear power in
(Glaxo), Alison Bass (2008).
Side Effects: A Prosecutor, a Whistleblower, and a Bestselling
Antidepressant on Trial. (Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin
Books of Chapel Hill, 260 p.). Mental Health Reporter (Boston
Globe). Spitzer, Eliot --Trials, litigation, etc.;
GlaxoSmithKline --Trials, litigation, etc.; Products liability
--Drugs --United States; Antidepressants --Side effects
Paroxetine --Side effects. Increased suicide rates among
adolescents taking antidepressants (Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft) -
evidence of deception behind one of most successful drug
campaigns (Paxil) in history; unhealthy ties between medical
establishment, big pharma, FDA; 2002 - New York State Attorney
General's office brought lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline, maker
of Paxil, for consumer fraud; 2004 - settled for $2.5 million;
changed way drugs are tested, sold, marketed.
(W. R. Grace), Jonathan Harr (1995).
A Civil Action. (New York, NY: Random House, 500 p.).
Teacher, Nonfiction Writing (Smith College). Anderson, Anne,
1936?- --Trials, litigation, etc.; Schlichtmann, Jan; W.R. Grace
& Co.--Trials, litigation, etc.; Trials (Toxic
torts)--Massachusetts--Boston; Groundwater--Pollution--Law and
water--Contamination--Massachusetts--Woburn; Liability for water
(W. R. Grace), Andrea Peacock (2003).
Libby, Montana: Asbestos and the Deadly Silence of an American
Corporation. (Boulder, CO: Johnson Books, 244 p.). W.R.
Grace & Co.; Asbestosis--Montana--Libby; Vermiculite--Health
effects--Montana--Personal Narratives; Asbestos--adverse
effects--Montana--Popular Works; Aluminum Silicates--adverse
effects--Montana--Personal Narratives; Aluminum
Silicates--adverse effects--Montana--Popular Works;
(W. R. Grace), Andrew Schneider and David
An Air That Kills: How the Asbestos Poisoning of Libby, Montana
Uncovered a National Scandal. (New York, NY: Putnam, 440
p.). W.R. Grace & Co.; Asbestos--Toxicology--Montana--Libby;
aspects--Montana--Libby; Mineral industries--Corrupt
(Great Northern), Gary Krist (2007).
The White Cascade: The Great Northern Railway Disaster and
America’s Deadliest Avalanche. (New York, NY: Holt, 315
p.). Great Northern Railway Company (U.S.)--History--20th
century; Avalanches--Washington (State)--History--20th century;
Railroad accidents--Washington (State)--History--20th century.
February 1910 - one of
worst rail disasters in U.S. history - two trains full of
people, trapped high in Cascade Mountains, hit by devastating
(Kerr-McGee), Richard Rashke (1981).
The Killing of Karen Silkwood: The Story Behind the Kerr-McGee
Plutonium Case. (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 407 p.).
Silkwood, Bill; Silkwood, Karen, 1946-1974; Kerr-McGee Nuclear
Corporation; Negligence -- United States; Plutonium -- Safety
regulations -- United States.
(Manville Corporation), Paul Brodeur (1985).
Outrageous Misconduct: The Asbestos Industry on Trial.
(New York, NY: Pantheon Books, 374 p.). Manville Corporation --
Trials, litigation, etc.; Corporate reorganizations -- United
States; Products liability -- Asbestos -- United States;
Asbestos industry -- Employees -- Legal status, laws, etc. --
(Mobil Oil), William Tavoulareas (1985).
Fighting Back The Story of How the President of Mobil Took on
The Washington Post in One of the Most Sensational Libel Cases..
(New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 253 p.). Tavoulareas,
William--Trials, litigation, etc.; Washington Post
Company--Trials, litigation, etc.; Trials (Libel)--Washington
(Occidental Petroleum), Stephen McGinty (2008).
Fire in the Night: The Piper Alpha Disaster. (London,
UK: Macmillan, 289 p.). Senior Writer with the Scotsman
newspaper. Offshore structures -- Accidents -- North Sea;
Offshore oil industry -- Accidents -- North Sea; Survival after
airplane accidents, shipwrecks, etc.; Occidental Petroleum
Corporation. Oil rig
inferno; July 6, 1988 - Piper Alpha oil platform, 110 miles
northeast of Aberdeen, once world's single largest oil producer,
caught fire with 226 men onboard (0nly 61 survived).
(Patterson-UTI Energy), Alexandra Fuller.
The Legend of Colton H. Bryant. (New York, NY:
Penguin Press, 202 p.). Bryant, Colton H., 1980-2006;
Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc. --Employees --Biography; Oil well
drilling --Accidents --Wyoming; Industrial accidents --Wyoming;
Cowboys --Wyoming --Biography; Wyoming --Biography.
rig; fell to his death because drilling company had
neglected to spend $2,000 on mandated safety
rails; family received no
(Pittston Company), Gerald M. Stern (1977).
The Buffalo Creek: How the Survivors of One of the Worst
Disasters in Coal-Mining History Brought Suit Against the Coal
Company--and Won. (New York, NY: Random House, 274 p.).
Prince, Dennis; Pittston Company; Floods--West Virginia--Buffalo
Creek (Logan County).
(Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey), Henry
S. Cohn and David Bollier (1991).
The Great Hartford Circus Fire: Creative Settlement of Mass
Disasters. (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 207
p.). Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Combined Shows--Trials,
litigation, etc.; Torts--Connecticut--Hartford--History--20th
century; Dispute resolution
Hartford Circus Fire, Hartford, Conn., 1944.
(Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey), Stewart
The Circus Fire: A True Story. (New York, NY: Doubleday,
370 p.). Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Combined
Shows--History; Hartford Circus Fire, Hartford, Conn., 1944;
Fires--Connecticut--Hartford--History--20th century; Hartford
(Rohm and Haas), Willard Sterne Randall and
Stephen D. Solomon (1977).
Building 6: The Tragedy at Bridesburg. (Boston, MA:
Little, Brown, 317 p.). Rohm and Haas Company; Dichloromethyl
(Shell Chemical Company), Ronnie Greene
Night Fire: Big Oil, Poison Air, and One Woman’s Fight To Save
Her Town. (New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers, 288
p.). Miami Herald journalist. Richard, Margie Eugene; Shell
Chemical Company; Petroleum industry and trade--Social
aspects--Louisiana--Norco; Pollution--Louisiana--Norco; African
conditions; Environmental health--Louisiana--Norco--Citizen
participation. 15 year
quest (two court cases) to demand that Shell compensate
Norco, LA neighborhood for decades of steady poisoning; formed
Norco Relocation Committee to wrest realistic relocation
funds; Shell capitulated in 2002.
(Shell UK), Meena Ahmed (2006).
The Principles and Practice of Crisis Management: The Case of
Brent Spar. (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 269 p.).
PhD - London School of Economics,. Brent Spar (Offshore oil
platform); Crisis management --Case studies.
How corporations can, do
respond, in very sophisticated ways, to threats to their
political and ideological perspectives, and so advance their
(Texaco), James Shannon (1988).
Texaco and the $10 Billion Jury. (Englewood Cliffs, NJ:
Prentice-Hall, 545 p.). Pennzoil Company--Trials, litigation,
etc.; Texaco, Inc.--Trials, litigation, etc.; Getty Oil Company;
Petroleum industry and trade--Mergers--United States;
Consolidation and merger of corporations--Law and
(Texaco), Thomas Petzinger, Jr. (1999).
Oil & Honor: The Texaco-Pennzoil Wars: Inside the $11 Billion
Battle for Getty Oil (Washington, DC: Beard Books, 495
p. [orig. pub. 1987]). Reporter (Wall Street Journal). Texaco,
inc.; Getty Oil Company; Petroleum industry and
trade--Mergers--United States; Consolidation and merger of
(Union Carbide), Martin Cherniack; foreword by
Phillip J. Landrigan and Anthony Robbins (1986).
The Hawk's Nest Incident: America's Worst Industrial Disaster.
(New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 194 p.). Union Carbide
Corporation; Quartz fibers--Toxicology--West Virginia--Gauley
Bridge; Silicosis--West Virginia--Gauley Bridge; Construction
workers--Diseases--West Virginia--Gauley Bridge; Hawks Nest
Tunnel (W. Va.).
(Union Carbide), Dan Kurzman (1987).
A Killing Wind: Inside Union Carbide and the Bhopal Catastrophe.
(New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 297 p.). Union Carbide Ltd. (India);
Bhopal Union Carbide Plant Disaster, Bhopal, India, 1984;
Pesticides industry--Accidents--India--Bhopal; Methyl
(Union Carbide), Dominique Lapierre, Javier
Moro; translated from the French by Kathryn Spink (2002).
Five Past Midnight in Bhopal. (New York, NY: Warner
Books, 403 p.). Bhopal Union Carbide Plant Disaster, Bhopal,
India, 1984; Pesticides industry--Accidents--India--Bhopal.
(United States Industrial Alcohol), Stephen
Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919.
(Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 263 p.).
Floods--Massachusetts--Boston--History--20th century; Industrial
century; Boston (Mass.)--History--1865-.
(U. S. Steel), L. Stephen Cox (2005).
The Cedarville Conspiracy: Indicting U.S. Steel. (Ann
Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 278 p.). Cedarville
(Steamship)--Trials, litigation, etc.; United States Steel
Corporation--Trials, litigation, etc.; Trials--Ohio--Cleveland;
Liability for marine accidents--United States; Merchant
mariners--Legal status, laws, etc.--United States; Collisions at
sea--Michigan--Straits of Mackinac; Shipwrecks--Law and
legislation--Michigan--Straits of Mackinac.
(Unocal), Thomas D. Beamish (2002).
Silent Spill: The Organization of an Industrial Crisis.
(Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 220 p.). Assistant Professor of
Sociology (University of Georgia). Oil spills--Environmental
aspects--California--Guadalupe Region--Public opinion; Petroleum
industry and trade--Environmental aspects--California--Guadalupe
Region--Public opinion; Pollution--California--Guadalupe
Region--Public opinion; Public opinion--California--Guadalupe
Region; Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes National Wildlife Refuge
(Calif.)--Environmental conditions--Public opinion.
culture of Unocal Corporation (oil fields produced leakage), interorganizational response of regulatory agencies,
local interpretations of event.
Max H. Bazerman and Michael D. Watkins (2004).
Predictable Surprises: The Disasters You Should Have Seen
Coming, and How To Prevent Them. (Boston, MA: Harvard
Business School Press, 317 p.). Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of
Business Administration (Harvard); Associate Professor of
Business Administration in the Negotiation, Organizations &
Markets Unit (Harvard). Disasters--Prevention.
Jamie L. Bronstein (2008).
Caught in the Machinery: Workplace Accidents and Injured Workers
in Nineteenth-Century Britain. (Stanford, CA: Stanford
University Press, 240 p.). Associate Professor of History (New
Mexico State University). Industrial accidents--Great
Britain--History--19th century; Workers’ compensation--Great
Britain--History; Workers’ compensation--United States--History.
Dangers facing working
people in Great Britain between 1800, first British Employer's
Liability Act of 1880; cultural meanings of workplace accidents,
workers' compensation in response to very different sets of
Devra Davis (2002).
When Smoke Ran Like Water: Tales of Environmental Deception and
the Battle Against Pollution. (New York, NY: Basic
Books, 316 p.). Director of the Center for Environmental
Oncology (University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute), Professor
of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health. Environmental
health; Environmentally induced diseases --Epidemiology; Smoke
--adverse effects --Popular Works; Environmental Pollutants
--adverse effects --Popular Works; Risk Factors --Popular Works.
Public triumphs, private failures of lifelong battle against
environmental pollution (1948 smog emergency in
Donora, PA; London smog of 1952);
shocking toll -300,000 deaths/year in U.S., Europe from effects of
pollution; how environmental toxins contribute to broad spectrum
of human diseases; how oil companies, auto manufacturers fought for decades to keep
lead in gasoline (knew it caused brain damage);
behind-the-scenes accounts of battle to recognize breast cancer
as major killer; other battles.
Charles McKean (2006).
Battle for the North: The Tay and Forth Bridges and the
19th-Century Railway Wars. (London, UK: Granta Books,
390 p.). Railroads--Scotland--Design and construction--History;
Tay Bridge Disaster, Dundee, Scotland, 1879; Forth Bridge (South
Queensferry, Scotland : Railroad bridge)--History; Tay Bridge
(Dundee, Scotland : Railroad bridge)--History.
1879 - longest railway bridge in
world collapsed in violent storm; folly of trusting in
market forces to run railways.
Ian I. Mitroff (2005).
Why Some Companies Emerge Stronger and Better from a Crisis: 7
Essential Lessons for Surviving Disaster. (New York, NY:
American Management Association, 238 p.). Professor in both the
Marshall School of Business and the Annenberg School for
Communications (University of Southern California). Crisis
management; Emergency management; Leadership. 7
distinct competencies to handle crises effectively.
Ian I. Mitroff and Ralph H. Kilmann (1984).
Corporate Tragedies: Product ampering, Sabotage, and Other
Catastrophes. (New York, NY: Praeger, 1450 p.).
Robert E. Mittelstaedt (2004).
Will Your Next Mistake Be Fatal?: Avoiding the Chain of Mistakes
That Can Destroy. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Wharton
School Pub., 309 p.). Dean and Professor of the W. P. Carvey
School of Business (Arizona State University). Organizational
effectiveness; Crisis management; Errors--Prevention.
Catch mistakes early, keep
them cheap, learn from them.
Marion Nestle (2008).
Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine.
(Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 219 p.). Paulette
Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health
and Professor of Sociology (New York University). Pets --Feeding
and feeds --Contamination --United States; Product recall
--United States. Early 2007 - Few telephone calls about sick
cats set off largest recall of consumer products in U.S.
history, international crisis over safety of imported goods
ranging from food to toothpaste, tires, toys.
Business History Links
Information on historical oil spills from Office of Response
and Restoration (part of National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration's National Ocean Service); links to dozens of oil
spills (back more than forty years), charts and graphs of
statistics on the "number and location of oil spills, the amount
of oil spilled, and the causes of the spills", and OR&R's photo
database (approximately 4,300 photographs of oil and chemical
spills); Behavior of Oil document includes details on who first
reported the spill, what type of oil it is, the size of the
slick and which direction it is headed.
SCANDALS & FRAUD
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