You can put a price on human life?

FT.com / Companies / UK – How BP put a price on human life:

BP was not only willing to put a value on human life, something its predecessor Amoco refused to do – it listed it at $20m (£10.5m) for a single fatality incident, with the cost escalating for multiple deaths in the same accident, the Financial Times has learned.

The details, revealed in sworn testimony, come as the first civil trial begins this week arising from the fatal explosion at BP’s Texas City refinery in 2005.

“If the incident had four fatalities, then the number would escalate to $40m. In, you know, 100 fatalities, the number would escalate to $200m per life,” said Robert Mancini, who is now a BP consultant in process safety, following his 2004 retirement from the UK company as a chemical engineer.

Look, they even have a heinousness factor in the escalating price per life if they kill a lot of people at one go. That’s some thinking. But what if the death was gruesome, such as if a chemical released from a BP plant caused not just death but weeks of tortuous pain? What about long-term agony, such as generations of birth defects? It all looks moral, but treating any life like it has a price is immoral. Only you can choose the price of your life.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Author: Mitch Ratcliffe

Mitch Ratcliffe is a veteran entrepreneur, journalist and business model hacker. He operates this site, which is a collection of the blogs he's published over the years, as well as an archive of his professional publishing record. As always, this is a work in progress. Such is life.