Union Partners With IBCTV to Show Public BP Trial and Never-Before-Seen Documents

Sept. 27, 2007
The United Steelworkers (USW) have partnered with IBCTV, a provider of interactive video technology, to recreate the BP Texas City explosion trial courtroom experience online and available to anyone 24/7 at http://www.ibctvlive.com.

The media and general public will be able to watch interactive trial highlights and review the documents and exhibits, which will be part of the video presentation. To create this realistic experience, IBCTV will review the video stream daily and receive transcript and evidence directly from the courtroom at the end of each day. This will include video of the explosion overlaid with the actual 9-1-1 calls and BP radio transmissions from within the refinery.

The trial centers around four injury lawsuits alleging that on March 23, 2005, BP operated its Texas City, Texas refinery with gross negligence and violated federal, state, industry and even its own safety standards, leading to the explosion, which caused hundreds of injuries and 15 deaths. Though a large percentage of the 7 million pages of documents were obtained and released to the public by the plaintiffs’ attorney Brent Coon of Brent Coon & Associates, additional documents not approved for public viewing will be presented during the course of the trial.

“This is how people want to watch trials,” said Jay Jackson, president of IBCTV. “...It is our goal to make this experience as intriguing and fast paced as possible.”

To that end, IBCTV will offer visitors various interactive features such as blogs and an "Ask a Question" feature, as well as the ability to search by date, name, document, and other on-demand menus. This is the same technology that was to be used in November 2006 when the USW partnered with IBCTV to broadcast the Eva Rowe case, which was settled the day the trial was to begin.

Gary Beevers, international vice president for the USW, said the unioin approached the IBCTV team to “bring their vision and technology” into showing its members and the public the “truth about BP and the Texas City explosion.”

“The USW strongly believes that its 850,000 members have a right to see the safety processes taken and not taken by the petroleum industry in its refineries,” Beevers said. “What happened at the BP Texas City refinery should never happen again,”

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