The explosion of the "Deepwater Horizon" oil rig off the coast of Louisiana on April 20, 2010, is causing thousands of barrels of oil to leak into the Gulf of Mexico and coastal areas every day. This massive oil spill may be one of the most serious environmental disasters in history, even more damaging than the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. The massive crude oil slick is an extremely hazardous and toxic substance, threatening not only the wildlife, beaches and the environment, but also individual landowners, commercial fishermen, restaurant and hotel operators, and other shipping and tourism businesses across the Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida coastal areas.
Several class action and individual lawsuits were filed against British Petroleum (BP America) and Transocean Ltd., the owners and operators of the Deepwater Horizon, as well as their insurers, alleging dangerous environmental contamination and extreme financial losses for those who work and earn a living in the affected areas. Attorneys say there could be hundreds of thousands of plaintiffs in the affected areas entitled to damages, including:
The lawsuits are based on allegations that BP America and other defendants acted negligently, including such claims as negligent operation and inspection of the Deepwater Horizon, careless disregard for the safety of others, failure to adequately prevent the spill, failure to adequately cap the leak, and failure to properly contain the spill after it occurred. Under the Oil Pollution Act, parties responsible for such oil spills are liable for the damages.
Total money damages in the Gulf oil spill could easily eclipse the half-billion dollars awarded in the Exxon Valdez disaster, reaching well into the multi-billions of dollars. In addition to lawsuit damages, BP America faces millions, if not billions of dollars, in clean-up costs. If you've been impacted by the Gulf oil spill, contact a Gulf Oil Spill attorney for more information about your options.
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