Gulf spill sickness wrecking lives, Dahr Jamail, March 9, 2011:
[Steven] Aguinaga and his close friend Merrick Vallian went swimming at Fort Walton Beach, Florida, in July 2010.
"I swam underwater, then found I had orange slick stuff all over me," Aguinaga said. "At that time I had no knowledge of what dispersants were, but within a few hours, we were drained of energy and not feeling good. I've been extremely sick ever since." ...
... Vallian is now dead.
"After we got back from our vacation in Florida, Merrick went to work for a company contracted by BP to clean up oil in Grand Isle, Louisiana," Aguinaga said of his 33-year-old physically fit friend.
"Aside from some gloves, BP provided no personal protection for them. He worked for them for two weeks and then died on August 23. He had just got his first paycheck, and it was in his wallet, uncashed, when he died."
Obituary: Merrick Vallian, Houma Today, August 26, 2010:
Merrick “Big M” Vallian, 33, a native of Raceland and a resident of Larose, died at 8:10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 23, 2010. ...
Samart-Mothe Funeral Home of Cut Off is in charge of arrangements.