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Shell’s treatment of Whistleblowers

OVERTON v. SHELL OIL COMPANY:

On December 22, 1999, Mr. Overton formally announced to Ms. Sistrunk that he was working with the Department of Interior and of his status as a whistleblower. On January 19, 2000, while Mr. Overton was working on MP252, federal agents boarded the platform armed with weapons and issued grand jury subpoenas based upon alleged violations of environmental regulations.

BY JOHN DONOVAN

We have already published articles revealing how Royal Dutch Shell terrorized a Malaysian whistleblower, the former Shell Production geologist, Dr John Huong. Dr Huong has accused Shell of psychological torture.

In the USA, there are Federal and State laws to protect whistleblowers from the retribution of malevolent employers such as Shell Oil.

The following are extracts of an email we received from William Overton, a Shell whistleblower who reported serious safety breaches on Shell production platforms operating in the Gulf of Mexico, including falsification by a Shell contractor of U.S. Mineral Management Service reports supplied to the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The information at the head of this article is an extract from a judgment by the Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit.

The entire remarkable document detailing the treatment Mr Overton received at the hands of Shell can be read here. He was awarded over $600,000 in damages. The appeal court affirmed the trial court’s finding that Shell terminated Mr. Overton because he was a whistleblower. The damages award covered lost wages, pension, fringe benefits, and emotional distress.

In his email, Mr Overton makes reference to an investigation by the U.S. authorities concerning Shell bribes to MMS employees, which included *Cocaine and Sex. For the record, we were approached by the U.S. authorities in relation to a bribery investigation relating to Shell Oil and supplied the U.S. government with leaked Shell internal documents.

We may publish further information supplied to us by Mr Overton.

*See SEX, DRUGS & CORRUPTION SPONSORED BY SHELL

EMAIL PURPORTEDLY FROM WILLIAM OVERTON

Dear Alfred,

I was a loyal front line employee and protected Shell as a good employee should.  Unfortunately, Floyd Landry with Shell Oil Company  offered me up to MMS so he could keep his bonus.

When I confronted Floyd and told him that I broke no laws and I was being railroaded he laughed at me and instructed me to take it to court.  He also offered me $5000.00 to settle and quit Shell Oil. I filed my own proceedings and soon found out I was outmatched. I learned to play as dirty as I was treated.

I reported violations to MMS to discover they were being investigated for accepting bribes from Shell that included Cocaine and sex.

William C. Overton, Jr.

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