BP oil spill continues to affect workers who make their living in the fishing industry

MONTGOMERY, ALA. (June 14, 2010)  – Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. has filed a lawsuit against British Petroleum (“BP”) and several other companies with ties to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The firm represents Charles Evans, who makes a living as a commercial fishing deckhand. He has incurred damages related to the BP oil spill disaster, including loss of profits, business income, and earning capacity.

As oil continues to spew from the undersea well at estimated rates between 5,000 and 60,000 barrels per day, the commercial fishing industry is feeling the pinch of restrictions and closures of prime water s. The disaster came at what would have been the beginning of harvest season, the busiest time for an industry valued as a $1.9 billion business along the Gulf Coast. Even worse is the predicted long-term damage to marine environments and estuaries essential for the future of fishing in the Gulf, spelling an uncertain outlook for the industry and its workforce. In 2008, commercial fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico harvested more than 1 billion pounds of fish and shellfish, and the industry accounted for 1 out of every 17 jobs.

“The impact the oil spill has on commercial fishing is huge and wide ranging,” Rhon Jones, head of Beasley Allen’s Environmental Law section, said.  “If the ocean is contaminated with oil, there isn’t some other place the commercial fishing industry can go to harvest seafood and make a living. This disaster hits at the heart of the industry – the ocean itself.  From there, people up and down the chain are feeling a significant economic impact with no end in sight.”

The suit is filed in federal court in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida Pensacola Division on behalf of plaintiff Charles Evans, who is a commercial fishing deckhand for the licensed commercial fishing vessel “Family Pride.” His income is significantly derived from access to open fishing waters in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. The suit seeks damages for real and personal property, earning capacity, business income, and other damages related to the disaster. The suit alleges negligence and wanton misconduct. Defendants named in the suit are BP, Halliburton, and Cameron International.

Beasley Allen has currently filed a number of lawsuits to help protect businesses and individuals harmed by the oil spill. The first suits were filed on behalf of Plaintiffs in the commercial fishing and restaurant industries. Recently, we filed a case on behalf of Gulf Coast real estate management companies, and most recently on behalf of a commercial charter fishing guide. These businesses and individuals are suffering major economic losses as vacationers cancel bookings at what would be the start of the industry’s most lucrative season.

Read the complaint.

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