Enbridge’s Kalamazoo release tactics do not inspire confidence in their promises

After the Gulf oil spill, BP provided emergency advance payments to individuals and businesses without requiring them to sign release forms.

Dear sir,

After the Gulf oil spill, BP provided emergency advance payments to individuals and businesses without requiring them to sign release forms.

Signing release forms would have resulted in those individuals and businesses never being able to sue BP for further damages.

Enbridge, however, had a different tactic after their 3.8 million litre oil spill into the Kalamazoo River last summer.

When residents were reimbursed by Enbridge for motel and restaurant costs after being forced from their homes by aromatic hydrocarbons and the stench of benzene, they signed a release form which said in part, “Claimant releases and discharges Enbridge, its employees, agents, partners, directors, and officers (jointly ‘Enbridge Released Parties’) from and against all liability, claims, actions, causes of action, costs and expenses, including without limitation claims for personal injuries, property damage, that Claimant(s) ever had, has or may have against the Enbridge Released Parties, whether known or unknown related to the Incident”.

Residents reimbursed for medical care by Enbridge signed a release form which said in part, “I (name of person) authorize you to disclose and release the following protected health information; Any and all inpatient admissions, all ER visits, out patient clinic notes, diagnostic testing, radiology films, consults, doctors orders, progress notes, nurses notes, laboratory testing, social service records, correspondence, consultations, memoranda, treatment plans, admission records, discharge summaries, diagnosis” and goes on to include, “drug and alcohol records, communicable disease, HIV and AIDS records, mental health records”.

The above examples show how Enbridge will put a consoling arm over your shoulder in a time of crisis, but hidden in their other hand is a knife to stab you in the back.

Perhaps learning from their past mistakes on the litigation front, Enbridge is taking a proactive instead of a reactive position regarding their 82 million litres per day pipeline proposal for Kitimat.

In a disclaimer from early in their Northern Gateway proposal process, Enbridge says in part, “The words “anticipate”, “expect”, “project”, “estimate”, “forecast”, and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Although Enbridge believes that these statements are based on information and assumptions which are current, reasonable and complete, these statements are necessarily subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties pertaining to operating performance, regulatory parameters, weather, economic conditions and commodity prices.”

And goes on to say, “While Enbridge makes these forward-looking statements in good faith, should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary significantly from those expected”.

Hardly fills one with a sense of confidence in anything coming out of the mouth of Enbridge representatives, does it?

 

Murray Minchin.