June 17th, 2010
11:26 AM ET

My son's grieving family deserves more from BP

Keith D. Jones
Special to CNN

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/06/16/jones.son.died.oil.rig/t1larg.jones.family.jpg caption="Gordon Jones, who died in the BP rig blowout, with his wife Michelle and son Stafford. Another son was born after his death." width=300 height=169]

Editor's note: Keith Jones has been a practicing trial lawyer for 32 years, and is admitted to practice in the Middle, Western and Eastern Federal District Courts in Louisiana, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. He is a lifetime member of the Louisiana Association for Justice, and spent several years on the Board of Directors of O'Brien House, a halfway house for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. He is the father of three (one now deceased) and grandfather of seven.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana (CNN) - My son, Gordon, died aboard the Transocean Deepwater Horizon oil rig on April 20, 2010.

That statement, standing on its own, might say everything about my life these days. But in truth it says little. Although I am consumed with grief over the loss of Gordon, because I am a lawyer, I am needed elsewhere.

Gordon's older brother Chris and I are directing all our energies to try to make right an outdated law that would deprive my daughter-in-law, Michelle, and her two boys, my grandsons, of "more nearly fair compensation" for the loss of their husband and father.

I make careful use of the term "more nearly fair compensation" because no amount of money could ever compensate any of us for Gordon's loss. Our loss, and the loss of everyone who ever knew Gordon, is incalculable in mere dollars. But our system provides that money damages must be paid by wrongdoers when they cause the death of another. Judges and juries do their best to arrive at the "most nearly fair" amount to try to compensate loved ones for their losses.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Gulf Oil Spill
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