On March 29, 2013 in Mayflower Arkansas an oil pipeline, named Pegasus, began leaking up to 12,000 gallons of oil into the creeks, lawns and streets. Now there are reports that this was Canadian crude from tar sands which is reportedly more toxic than typical crude. The initial result of the spill was that at least 22 homes were evacuated and their residents moved to a local motel while crews from Exxon Mobil began cleaning up. As can been seen in many pictures the oil covered everything and there is a fear that it will reach Lake Conway which is full of fish, ducks and other wildlife.
While the initial problem is the evacuation of the homes themselves, the residents of Mayflower and the surrounding areas may feel the economic and health effects for years. On April 3, 2013 Attorney General Dustin McDaniel reported having a headache from just visiting the site due to the fumes. These type of complaints are common when an toxic spill occurs in areas. People exposed to oil spills in the past have been compensated for the following medical conditions: respiratory, gastrointestinal, eye, skin and neurophysiological, such as dizziness, headaches, fainting.
Although this is the first oil spill from a pipeline to occur in Arkansas the people of Mayflower are not the first this year to have undergone a pipeline break. On March 18th of this year another pipeline burst in Utah.
The economic effects can last a long time as well. The effect on the property values are not limited to just those that own the homes that have been evacuated but adjoining neighborhoods. It also can effect businesses that depend on those families to support their local shops. This has become an environmental mass tort which could injury both economically and medically hundreds of people throughout the area.
If you believe you have been injured either economically or medically it is critical that you do two things: First, do not sign anything that would release your rights to be compensated. The oil company will attempt many things to obtain your goodwill including passing out Easter baskets to your children. There is a purpose to those actions- they want to get out of their responsibility as cheaply as possible. Second- contact an attorney who can explain your rights in these situations and ensure that you receive all to which you are entitled as result of the oil company’s negligence.
Arkansas attorney Sean Keith has an extensive practice in mass torts. If you have questions- contact him by calling 1800-698-3644. It is important whether you contact Mr. Keith or someone else that you act as quickly as possible so that evidence can be gathered to ensure that you are protected.