A Democratic congressman is demanding more information from drilling giant Transocean about the forms signed by Deepwater Horizon rig workers stating they were not hurt and were not witnesses of the explosion that brought down the rig April 20.
Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) has fired off a letter to Transocean calling its response to his earlier request for information on the forms insufficient.As TPMmuckraker has previously explained, some rig workers have said they felt coerced into signing the forms that were presented to them at a hotel after they were brought ashore following the explosion. Lawyers say that such forms could later be used in court against workers filing claims or acting as witnesses.
After a contentious exchange with Transocean’s president at a hearing in May, Braley asked the company for more information on the forms — including who specifically gave them to workers, and if workers were informed what they were being asked to sign.
Transocean’s response to Braley is here. In it, Acting Co-General Counsel Rachel Clingman writes: “As part of efforts to assist crewmembers, to preserve relevant information, and to start an investigation into the cause of the event, third-party representatives retained by Transocean (claims management personnel and attorneys) interviewed crewmembers if they were willing and available and asked the questions noted above.”
But she does not give Braley a list of names of who Transocean retained to distribute the forms — or whether they were given access to attorneys or counselors to explain the purpose of the forms. He’s asking for the company to provide that information.
Here’s another section of Transocean’s response:
Crewmembers were not required to talk to any of these representatives and they were not required to complete the incident response forms in order to receive any kind of compensation. Most crewmembers did not sign the forms; those who did, did not answer the questionnaires until several days or a week later; approximately 17 filled out the forms on April 22. (Although the form signed by one crewmember is dated April 20, it appears to be misdated, as the accident occurred at approximately 10:00 p.m. on April 20, and the Transocean team members did not meet with any rescued crewmembers until after the Coast Guard allowed them to arrive onshore.)