The Oil Spill: Where Are the Good Samaritans?

It's not surprising that Tony Hayward, BP's chief executive, and a handful of other senior executives, are being criticized for their response to the Gulf oil spill. Insufficient action, a lack of transparency, stonewalling, poor response coordination, and excessive finger pointing are some of the reasons for the criticisms. Only recently has BP (BP) begun using less ambiguous words to describe what happened and to describe the kinds of claims it is likely to pay out of its new $20 billion fund. Most likely, these earlier, more cautious approaches were designed to assuage the concerns of the lawyers, who know that even a harmless gaffe can be taken out of context and used in court. We live in litigious times.

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