Legal Issues on BP Oil Spill Lawsuits

The impact of the BP oil spill in 2010 will be present in Mexico’s Gulf for years, even decades to come. With nearly five million barrels of oil gushing from the seabed into the Gulf, there is no question that this was the worst oil spill in history. Now that the oil flow has stopped the extent of the damage is being studied, attention is now being given to how it will all play out in the legal system.

Thouss of lawsuits have already been filed because of the BP oil spill, such as those involving:

Environmental damage

There is absolutely no question that the oil spill resulted in immense damage to the Gulf’s coastline, wildlife, ecosystem wetls. At present, the Justice Department is weighing its options for filing both criminal civil lawsuits against BP other companies that are responsible for the oil spill, including all violations against the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act of 1973, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. 

Property damage

Numerous residential, commercial, even undeveloped properties along the Gulf coastline have been damaged by the BP oil spill, as well as several small isls located offshore. Cases involving property damage may be addressed by filing a claim through BP’s $20 billion compensation fund. 

Individual income losses lost business profits

Thouss of workers businesses across Mississippi, Florida, Texas, Alabama Louisiana have witnessed their livelihoods suffer or disappear completely, seek compensation for the income profits lost due to the oil spill. These include both companies employees in the commercial fishing, oyster shrimp industries, hotels, charter boat operations, tourist attractions rental property owners. This also includes other establishments in popular resort areas.

Health problems risks

The individuals families in the region who are left to deal with health problems hazards caused by both the presence of the oil by coastal property the chemicals used to clean up the spilled oil have also filed lawsuits.

Health risks injuries resulting from cleanup

In the months after the oil spill, several individuals worked on cleaning up burning off the oil, reported health problems linked to the cleanup, including throat irritation, nausea, headaches.

Injury wrongful death claims 

Rig workers their families have filed wrongful death claims against both BP Transocean, particularly the family members of the 11 workers who were killed by the Deepwater Horizon explosion. Surviving drill rig workers who sustained injuries that day also sued the same companies for negligence.

BP shareholder lawsuits

Dozens of investors have accused the company of misleading shareholders causing the values of BP shares to plummet. The U.S. Securities Exchange Commission is presently investigating whether or not BP insiders profited from trading due to nonpublic information in the weeks months succeeding the oil spill.

State government lawsuits

Alabama is one state considering filing a lawsuit against BP in order to regain tax revenue from all the business income lost due to the spill, as well as to recover state funds used to clean up the spill.

Who is being sued?

When speaking of the lawsuits related to the 2010 oil spill in Mexico’s Gulf, BP has the primary role in the entire disaster, especially considering its reputation as a globe business power the company’s deep pockets.

Estimates show that BP has approximately $32 billion set aside to cover spill-related costs for cleanup, fines, legal claims other costs. BP, therefore, is taking the biggest financial hit for its contribution to the worst oil spill in the history of the United States.

There are, of course, other parties being targeted in lawsuits involving the oil spill. These parties include:

  • Transocean – Owner of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig
  • Cameron International – Manufacturer of the well’s blowout preventer that did not function as planned, did not help in decreasing or preventing the oil spill
  • Haliburton – Well contractor

Seeking legal representation

If you have lost personal or business income due to the oil spill, it is best to consult with an experienced knowledgeable attorney about your legal options to first determine the full scope of your financial losses.