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Securing Protections for the Injured from Limitations On Liability Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. CHU. The gulf oil spill is the worst environmental disaster in our Nation's history. It's devastated the gulf coast and taken lives, lives like Gordon Jones and the 10 other victims of the gulf Horizon explosion.

Congress is making sure that the families of these men receive the justice that they deserve. Current law values the lives of those who die at sea far less than deaths on land, and to relatives not financially dependent on the deceased, it provides nothing but a check for funeral expenses. This is wrong.

It doesn't matter where someone dies. If it's someone else's fault, justice is due. Moreover, these losses go far beyond the value of a pay stub or the costs of a funeral. That's why the SPILL Act ends the outdated devaluations of maritime deaths, and it opens the door for family members to receive damages based upon pain and suffering.

But that's not all it does. Current law limits the liability of Transocean, the company who owned the rig, to just $25 million. Now, Kim Tran, Vietnamese shrimpers, and all the fishermen of Louisiana know that the damages caused are so much greater, and so does Congress. That's why our bill eliminates those caps and assures that we hold those who caused the spill accountable for the damage they've done, no matter who they might be. That's why I am proud to cosponsor the SPILL Act, and I call on all of my colleagues to vote for it.


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