Whistleblower Kenneth Abbott recently filed a lawsuit intended to force BP to halt operation of another oil platform located in the Gulf of Mexico. Abbott is a former employee of BP, having formerly worked as a project control supervisor.
Abbott has been interviewed by both 60 Minutes and ProPublica, and in both interviews stated that BP never evaluated their engineering designs for their oil pumping operation. Abbott feels that this second oil pumping operation could fail, just as Deepwater Horizon did, and a second catastrophic spill could occur. Abbott stated that BP did not review any of the thousands of design documents for their pumping systems. Abbott also alleges that BP never confirmed that the equipment was installed as originally ordered.
Additionally, according to Abbott, BP never filed the paperwork that would serve as an emergency manual to the rig workers if anything ever went wrong. Abbott claims that he approached his superiors about these issues when he was still employed by BP, but that his concerns were rebuffed. According to Abbott, BP’s leadership was more concerned about making money than they were about safety.
The lawsuit against BP’s Atlantis platform was filed in the U.S. District Court in Houston. The suit was filed against Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and the Minerals and Management Service. The Minerals and Management Service is the agency that is responsible for offshore drilling regulation in the Gulf of Mexico. The Department of the Interior declined to make a statement, emphasizing that they could not comment on a pending lawsuit. Abbott’s complaints were first filed over a year ago, but little investigation was done. After the oil spill in the Gulf, however, the Department of the Interior and the Minerals and Management Service pushed the investigation forward.
Although BP has declined several requests for comment, they did address Abbott’s accusations. Last January in a letter to a committee of congressional investigators, BP officials declared that Abbott’s concerns were unfounded and that all the documentation for their Atlantis platform was in order before operation of the rig ever commenced. Although it is possible that BP has reviewed their plans since Abbott was terminated, BP has not released any evidence that would prove this.
If you or a loved one have property or a business that have been affected by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, contact Newsome Law Firm and fill out a case evaluation form today. Our team of attorneys has experience specific to complications associated with environmental disasters. Not only can they give you the legal guidance you need, they can help you get the compensation you deserve.