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Father Of BP Victim, Gordon Jones, Lashes Out At BP CEO Tony Hayward

Father Of BP Victim, Gordon Jones, Lashes Out At BP CEO Tony Hayward

Courtesy of Ryan Grim at The Huffington Post

Oil Rig Disaster Survivors And Family Of Victims Testify At House Hearing

When BP CEO Tony Hayward lamented that he wanted his "life back," Keith Jones took notice. A petition started by Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.), calling for Hayward’s termination, gave Jones a chance to speak out.

"My son died aboard the Transocean Deepwater Horizon. That’s whose life Tony Hayward ought to want back," Jones wrote in signing the petition.

HuffPost emailed Jones at his law firm in Baton Rouge to ask if he was the Keith who’d signed the petition. He said that he was. "I know he apologized for the comment, but it’s not the first really insensitive thing he’s said," Jones added.

Jones’ son Gordon, the father of two himself, died when the rig exploded on April 20.

In May, Jones testified before the House Judiciary Committee, arguing that Congress should not limit damages that victims can obtain in court just because the accident happened offshore. Only by making companies pay, said Jones, can the public get their attention.

"No amount of money can ever compensate us for Gordon’s death….We know that. But this is the only means available to begin to make things right," he said, according to a local media account. "These businesses are there to make money….Punishing them by making them pay some of that money to victims who suffer most is the only way to get their attention."

Melancon, who is running for Senate against Republican David Vitter, posted his petition online. Jones was signatory number 848.

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Related reading: Ever wonder what your life is worth in dollars? Perhaps $10 million? Ford has a better idea: $200,000. [Pinto Madness, Mother Jones, Oct. 1977]

Ryan Grim is the Huffington Post’s senior congressional correspondent and has written for Slate, Rolling Stone, Harper’s, and the Washington Post. He’s also the author of the recently published book, "This Is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America."  Click here to read the chapter "Border Justice." - Ilene 


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