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BP Oil Spill Lawsuits Rise As Company Disputes Responsibility

BP Oil Spill Lawsuits Rise As Company Disputes Responsibility

The Obama administration released a statement on Thursday that it is considering asking Congressional lawmakers to pass legislation forcing BP to assume full liability for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and thus compel the company to pay damages to a wide variety of businesses and individuals adversely affected by the environmental disaster.

The spill – the result of an underwater explosion at the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform on April 20 – has already caused 11 deaths and 17 injuries, along with immeasurable damage to the ecosystem. The resultant oil slick now covers nearly 10,000 square miles, and has directly impacted the livelihoods of everyone from coastal business owners to oil workers left jobless by the U.S. government’s emergency moratorium on deep sea drilling.

The stern measures being discussed by the White House would leave BP no option but to pay out settlements in a flood of lawsuits that is growing almost as quickly as the slick itself. At present, the company claims to have paid out more than 18,000 claims to parties impacted by the catastrophe, but has not made public the details of these settlements or the identities of the recipients. While such payouts will undoubtedly continue long after the spill has been contained, questions persist regarding the federal government’s authority to force the company’s hand through legislation.

In particular, the question of wages lost by oil workers laid off during the crisis has some legal experts doubting the administration’s chances of following through on its threats. Current Justice Department officials are eyeing a clause in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 which states that oil companies are responsible for any damages resulting from an “impairment of earning capacity” suffered by workers in the wake of a spill. A former Justice Department staffer, however, believes BP attorneys would counter with the claim that it is the government-mandated moratorium, not the spill, which is keeping workers off the job.

Many observers believe the White House is using strong language to pressure BP into assuming a greater measure of responsibility for the crisis on its own, but former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich has suggested that the federal government may take even more drastic action. By placing BP into temporary receivership, Reich argues, the Obama administration could effectively ensure that all claims and expenses are covered.

Though such a controversial measure seems unlikely, some legal experts believe anything less than decisive action by the administration could result in many people left without compensation for the hardships brought on by the spill. They cite the 1982 bankruptcy of insulation manufacturer Johns-Manville Corporation, which settled the company’s debt but left little to cover the pending claims of consumers suffering from asbestos-related injuries resulting from exposure to its products.

If you own or operate property or a business that has 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.

BP Oil Spill Lawsuits Eliciting Slow Payouts From Oil Giant

BP Oil Spill Lawsuits Eliciting Slow Payouts From Oil Giant

The recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has started to affect the lives of small business owners along the Gulf Coast recently. The oil has spread and started to harm the native animals and environment, negatively affecting area businesses, and owners and residents are looking for repercussions; however, BP has been slow in responding with payments to many of these victims.

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BP Oil Spill Could Cause $2 Billion In Damage To Florida

BP Oil Spill Could Cause $2 Billion In Damage To Florida

The BP oil spill is damaging more than just the ecological aspects Gulf of Mexico, as the economies of the Gulf states are suffering, too. An economist from the University of Central Florida in Orlando predicts that this disaster could cost Florida’s economy $2.2 billion. He also estimates that 39,000 jobs will be lost. The reason for this is that tourism has plummeted since the spill. This further prevents the Florida economy from reaching its full potential in an already difficult economy.

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South Florida Residents File Class Action Lawsuit Against BP

South Florida Residents File Class Action Lawsuit Against BP

Tar patties and tar balls washed up on the Florida Panhandle shoreline recently, indicating that BP PLC’s latest attempt to seal off its ruptured wellhead wasn’t as effective as the company had hoped. The British Broadcasting Company reported that Admiral Thad Allen, the U.S. Coast Guard’s national incident commander, stated approximately 1,000 barrels of a day were currently being captured, but the total flow of leaking oil was approximately 12,000 to 19,000 barrels each day.

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BP Lawsuits Continue as Fishermen Claim Losses

BP Lawsuits Continue as Fishermen Claim Losses

As British Petroleum, the U.S. government and other various entities continue to determine an effective way to stop the steady daily flow of hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, Florida fishermen are continuing to mount lawsuits against BP as well. Claiming the spill is cutting their catches in half and ruining their livelihoods, the fishermen filed their class action suit on the same day the government started shutting down prime fishing locations.

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BP Oil Spill Class Action Suit Filed in Birmingham

BP Oil Spill Class Action Suit Filed in Birmingham

The impact of the April 20th Deepwater Horizon explosion continues to reverberate as its resulting oil spill expands across the Southern Gulf. Initial lawsuits were soon filed on behalf of BP and Transocean workers killed or maimed in the explosion. In early May, a proposed class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Birmingham on behalf of property owners, including a Shelby, Alabama man and a Jefferson County company whose properties in Gulf Shores lie directly in the path of the oncoming slick.

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BP Oil Spill Lawsuits Dismiss Possibility of Delayed Trials

BP Oil Spill Lawsuits Dismiss Possibility of Delayed Trials

U.S. District Judge Kristi DuBose of the Federal District of Alabama denied motions brought by defendants BP PLC and Halliburton Energy Services Inc. to stay the time in which to file answers in two cases. Both cases, Bon Secour Fisheries Inc., et al. v. BP and Deupree Outdoor Guide Services Inc. v. BP, involve proposed class actions over economic losses caused by the recent Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

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BP Oil Spill Lawsuits Target U.S. Department of Interior

BP Oil Spill Lawsuits Target U.S. Department of Interior

On top of the 100 lawsuits already filed against British Petroleum, Transocean, Halliburton and Cameron, Inc., the Sierra Club and Gulf Restoration Network have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Interior’s Mineral Management Service (MMS). The lawsuit asserts that MMS contributed to the disaster because of lax enforcement of existing regulations.

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BP Oil Spill Lawsuits Mounting From Louisiana Parishes

BP Oil Spill Lawsuits Mounting From Louisiana Parishes

Terrebonne Parish in Louisiana became the first of what is expected to be many parishes to file a lawsuit against British Petroleum, the oil company responsible for last month’s epic and disastrous leak in the Gulf of Mexico. The people of the parish are collectively seeking monetary damages for the area’s wildlife that died as a result of the spill. Analysts have predicted that the Deepwater Horizon spill will be the largest oceanic catastrophe in U.S. history, and many have already admitted that the situation is far worse than anticipated.

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