‘Want to talk outrage? Here’s how Halliburton screwed my brother.’

by on July 17, 2010 · 7 comments

in Civil Rights, Economy, Health

halliburtonst_wideweb__430x271You want to talk outrage? How about this one: My brother Jack showed me a letter he received from Halliburton via his lawyer. Yes- that Halliburton. It appears that Halliburton has declared bankruptcy. And because they have declared bankruptcy, they will only be required to pay out pennies on the dollar in the settlement of my brother’s suit.

Two years ago my brother was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare and deadly kind of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. By the 1940’s the asbestos industry was well aware of the health hazards but the use of asbestos was not discontinued until the mid-70’s. My brother worked in maintenance in power plants and was exposed to asbestos for close to two decades. It is common that mesothelioma isn’t diagnosed until twenty or thirty years after the exposure.

halliburton cartoonThe industry had to set aside a pool of compensation money for those workers diagnosed with asbestos related diseases. In the 1980’s, Halliburton bought one of those companies which was required to provide compensation. According to the letter I saw, Halliburton has declared bankruptcy- in that particular division.

We the citizens continue to shovel money at Halliburton- they are involved in the Gulf clean up- and a day doesn’t dawn in Iraq without the flow of our tax dollars into Halliburton’s coffers. I can’t quite wrap my head around the words “bankruptcy” and “Halliburton” in the same sentence.

Halliburton appears to be well compensated for its efforts, my brother not so much for his. Jack is probably looking at another three to nine months on the planet. It is unlikely that he will live long enough to see the individual compensation checks that represent the settlements from each of the companies involved.

halliburton_signI feel certain that Halliburton is looking well into the future, already aware of the possibilities, poised to act. When Jack, or perhaps my sister-in-law, receives the few thousand dollars from Halliburton, I wonder what they will be thinking about the future, the possibilities.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

nunya July 17, 2010 at 11:58 am

My heart goes out to you. I’m sorry.


annagrace July 17, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Thanks Nunya- readers have responded with great kindness and empathy to the recent pieces by Sunshine, Scott and myself. We have each touched upon how the American Dream goes terribly wrong. We cannot permit the mindless and cruel worldview that the unemployed are shiftless slackers who won’t work unless unemployment funds run out; that our privatized health care is the best in the world; that we should apologize to businesses who jeopardize the health of our environment and people because “shit happens,” that demanding accountability/restitution is extortion.

One of the most powerful ways to combat those views is through our willingness to relate our own unique stories and for others to take the time to listen and respond. Thanks again.


Sunshine July 17, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Thanx, Annagrace, for sharing your experiences and those of your brother with us. How many lives destroyed will it take before citizens wake up and see that the Capitalist Emporior is indeed naked as a jaybird….

Perhaps if this Naked Emporior took a swim by the OB Pier we would final get to see his “littleness.”


Dave Sparling July 17, 2010 at 3:12 pm

I believe one of George Bush’s friends Kenny Boy Lay did that o a lot of Enron people. It is just part of that wonderful GOLDEN RULE.


john July 21, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Umm, you might like to know that Clinton was as deep in the mud with those guys as Bush was.
Not excusing it, it’s just a lot of people just want to look at one side of the Enron story, it was bad on both sides.


Michael Carnahan July 17, 2010 at 6:55 pm

Thank you for sharing that story. Until we prosecute the criminals Bush, Cheney, and Rove and stop the corporate takeover of America this will be repeated again and again.


Camille January 19, 2012 at 11:41 am

Sorry to hear that. My mother died of Mesothelioma. We sued. My cut, from Halliburton, was $15,000. :(


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