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BP Oil Spill

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The BP oil spill that began on April 20, 2010, could prove to have devastating consequences not only for the environment but also for businesses located on or near the Gulf of Mexico. Furthermore, the BP Gulf oil spill has already had tragic consequences, with 11 men believed dead, following the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. BP (British Petroleum) already faces class action lawsuits related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. However, many more lawsuits could be filed as the full effects of the oil spill are realized.



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Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Facts

BP OilOn April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, owned by Transocean and leased by BP, exploded and eventually sank. Eleven men who were working on the Deepwater Horizon at the time of the explosion are presumed dead. Meanwhile, internal BP documents show BP believes the worst-case scenario could see 100,000 barrels of oil leak into the Gulf of Mexico from nearly one mile beneath the ocean surface. Approximately 126 million gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico as of June 21, 2010, according to the Associated Press.

The oil slick reportedly reached landfall in southern Louisiana on April 30, 2010. Some officials have said the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is the worst environmental disaster since the Exxon Valdez oil spill and will have an economic impact greater than that of Hurricane Katrina. One reason this could be a greater environmental disaster than the Exxon Valdez is because there was a known amount of oil on the tanker when it ran aground and spilled the oil. In the case of the Deepwater Horizon, there is an unknown amount of oil in the oil pocket, which could eventually flow freely into the Gulf of Mexico.

Effect of Oil Spill on Businesses

Businesses that rely on the Gulf of Mexico could find that they lose revenue because of the oil spill. According to The New York Times (04/30/10), fishermen in Louisiana were told the shrimp season, which usually runs from May to December, has been suspended. Now, some fishermen may have to find work helping to clean up the oil spill.

BP OilSome reports indicate BP requested fishermen who wanted to work for the company to clean up the oil spill would have to sign an agreement waiving their right to sue in exchange for a $5,000 payment. According to reports at blog.al.com (05/02/10), Alabama Attorney General Troy King said that BP has been told to stop circulating those agreements. A BP spokesperson said the company has taken out the waiver and will not enforce any that are already signed.

In addition to fishermen, shipping firms, hotels, resorts, cruise liners and other businesses could be severely affected by the oil spill. Property owners may also have a claim against BP if their property is damaged by the oil spill.

Some reports suggest that the oil and damage from the oil spill could spread further south and east, into the Caribbean.

BP Oil Spill Lawsuit: Commercial Fishermen

Lawsuits have been filed against BP and other companies linked to Deepwater Horizon alleging their negligence is the cause of economic damage to people who rely on the Gulf of Mexico for their income. One such lawsuit seeks a minimum of $5 million in damages and was filed on behalf of Mississippi shrimpers and their families, "in an attempt to protect (them) from destitution."

A separate lawsuit was filed on behalf of Florida commercial fishermen, who allege the oil plumes beneath the ocean's surface are killing fish. The lawsuit was filed on June 3, 2010, and seeks class action status on behalf of any person who makes his or her living off of the sea.

People who rely on the Gulf of Mexico for an income include commercial fishermen, crabbers, shrimpers, oystermen, fish processors and those employed in fish or meat storage.

BP Oil Spill Lawsuit: Property Owners

People who own property along the Gulf Coast could find their property is affected by the oil spill. Both commercial and residential property owners may suffer damage to their property from the spilled oil. Furthermore, they may experience a loss in property value or loss in rental income because of the oil pollution.

Property owners are advised to take any action as recommended by officials to lessen property damage. They are also advised to document any damage to their property.

BP Oil Spill Lawsuit: Tourism and Hospitality Industry

Many people make their living off the Gulf of Mexico. These include people involved in the tourism and hospitality industry, such as people who rent water gear (ie sports boats), charter boat operators, lodging employees, restaurant workers, travel agents, car rental agencies and other business owners. People employed in the tourism and hospitality industry may be eligible to file a lawsuit against BP to recover income lost due to the oil spill.

BP ERISA

BP employees who participate in BP employee benefits plans may be eligible to file a lawsuit against BP. According to some reports, BP stock lost a large portion of its value since the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. Under ERISA laws, plan fiduciaries have a responsibility to prudently invest a plan's assets. If the fiduciaries knew or should have known about problems with the company's safety controls and still invested employee benefit plan assets in BP stock, those fiduciaries may have violated their duties.

BP Oil Spill and Health-Related Issues: Injury and Death

Concerns have arisen about the health and safety of clean up crews and people living around the Gulf Coast. According to a letter from the Department of HEALTH and HOSPITALS (DHH) and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (06/04/10), reports have emerged of injuries and illness among BP employees and BP subcontractors. Furthermore, the DHH reports 143 cases related to oil spill exposure. Of those, 108 involved workers either on the oil rigs or involved in oil spill clean up efforts and 35 were reported by the general public. Although most of the reports involved mild symptoms, it is possible that as time goes on more severe symptoms will be experienced.

Twenty of the reports of illness required short hospitalization. Most of the oil spill symptoms involved nausea, vomiting, headache, throat irritation, cough and flu-like symptoms.

BP Oil Spill and Maritime Law (Jones Act)

BP OilEleven workers are missing and presumed dead following the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform. The widow of one of the men, Natalie Roshto filed a lawsuit against Transocean Ltd, British Petroleum and Halliburton, alleging the companies were negligent in the operation of the Deepwater Horizon. The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages.

The widows of the other workers missing and presumed dead in the tragedy may also be able to file a lawsuit under the Jones Act, which requires the owners of ships and oil platforms to pay families when employees are killed on vessels that are "unseaworthy" or are operated under unsafe conditions.

BP Claims Process

According to United States Coast Guard, National Pollution Funds Center, the claims process categorizes type of loss that will apply to claimants:
  • Oil Removal and Cleanup Costs
  • Property Damage
  • Subsistence (income) Loss
  • Net Lost Government Revenue
  • Net Lost Profits/Earning Capacity
  • Cost of Increased Public Services
  • Natural Resource Damage
If you have suffered losses in these areas, you are encouraged to contact an attorney to help you file a claim.

BP Oil Spill Legal Help

If you or a loved one has suffered damages in this case, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a lawyer who may evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.


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BP OIL SPILL LEGAL ARTICLES AND INTERVIEWS

BP Steps Up to the Plate in Alabama
BP Steps Up to the Plate in Alabama
January 12, 2011
Birmingham, AL The Deepwater Horizon oil spill may have fallen away from the news headlines, but millions of Americans along the gulf coast are still struggling with the aftermath of the worse oil spill in American history. In the vacation town of Orange Beach, Alabama, the Deepwater oil disaster threatened to delay a $500 million condominium project. The developers, Brett/Robinson, were prepared to sue BP for the damage done to the future of the Phoenix West II project. But, this time, there's no need to pencil in months of courtroom time and prepare for expensive litigation READ MORE

Eight Charged with Defrauding BP Oil Spill Compensation Fund
Eight Charged with Defrauding BP Oil Spill Compensation Fund
December 14, 2010
Washington, DC There is one in every crowd—or in this case, eight. As much concern as there was for the BP Oil Spill and the impact it would have on the lives and livelihoods of those directly affected, recent reports suggest that winter tourism at least is returning to normal levels in those areas. Meanwhile, there are reports of individuals defrauding BP and the federal government over compensation claims READ MORE

Commission Co-Chair Says Management at Fault in BP Oil Spill
Commission Co-Chair Says Management at Fault in BP Oil Spill
December 6, 2010
Washington, DC The co-chairman of President Obama's commission investigating the BP oil spill says that management should be blamed for the blowout of the PLC's Macondo well that caused the worst offshore oil spill in US history, the Wall Street Journal reports READ MORE
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READER COMMENTS

Posted by
Ohio
on
We have loss of profit due to the time it will take to re-work our program and advertising schemes we must re-create, not to mention the uselessness of the properties we currently own and lease along the Gulf BP destroyed.

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