Frank Monte is a marketing executive and small business owner who turned into an activist when a lawyer contacted him about the settlement British Petroleum (BP) was creating for those affected by the massive oil rig disaster and spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Frank Monte realized that the blanket settlement BP was offering to Gulf private residents and businesses who lost countless dollars and their homes due to the spill was designed to help keep BP from paying as much as they would have to if each separate business or individual sued them individually.
So Frank Monte used his connections and his marketing skills to build a following of small businesses and residents of his community to sue BP separately. Monte set up weekly seminars explaining why this was necessary and how everyone could benefit. After a short time, “we had so many people coming on Thursday nights we ran out of seats and it became standing room only.” BP responded by slowing down the claims process in the hopes that most would drop them.
Unfortunately, it worked. Frank Monte eventually sold his claim for less than fifty percent of what it was worth, but he never gave up the fight for better environmental protection.