BP Oil Spill Settlement Agreement Information:
These links are maintained on the official Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) website, which is maintained by the court-appointed PSC to provide information to attorneys and litigants. The contents of that website reflect the opinions and positions of the PSC.
On April 20, 2010, a massive offshore oil rig known as the Deepwater Horizon exploded and caught fire in the Gulf of Mexico, about 50 miles from Louisiana’s coastal wetlands. Firefighters and the U.S. Coast Guard fought for 2 days to contain the fire, but the rig sank on April 22, releasing nearly a million gallons of diesel fuel into the Gulf waters and creating an unstoppable leak of crude that eventually became the biggest oil disaster the U.S. has ever seen.
The Deepwater Horizon was one of 14 offshore oil rigs owned and operated by Transocean in the Gulf of Mexico. The rig was under lease to oil giant BP for exploratory drilling to the tune of $500,000 per day when the explosion occurred. 126 workers – a combined crew of Transocean and BP employees and independent contractors, were aboard the rig at the time of the explosion. Many of the workers suffered from burn injuries, broken bones, and smoke inhalation – 4 of them critically. Eleven workers were killed.
It took four months to seal the well and stop the flow of oil. As a result, the environmental and commercial impact was unprecedented.
The oil contaminated Louisiana’s fragile wetlands. Environmental experts say that as many as 400 species of Gulf wildlife, from whales to birds, were put at risk and the threat to the Gulf ecosystem is inestimable. It may be years before the extent of the damage is truly known.
Commercial fishing and shrimping operations all along the spill area were shut down for months, putting hundreds of fishermen already hard hit by the economy out of work. The timing couldn’t have been worse, as the disaster hit the $21 billion commercial seafood industry just before harvesting season in mid-May.
Other industries affected included shipping, tourism, the restaurant industry, real estate, and commercial fishing. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there are 3.2 million recreational fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico region who took 24 million fishing trips in 2008. Commercial fishermen in the Gulf harvested more than 1 billion pounds of finfish and shellfish in 2008.
In August, cases related to the BP oil spill were consolidated under U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans. Beasley Allen attorney Rhon Jones, who heads the firms Environmental Law section, has been chosen to help direct litigation as a member of the Plaintiffs Steering Committee in the multidistrict litigation.
Consolidating the cases into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) allows the committee overseeing the process to put more pressure and focus on moving the case forward, moving cases more quickly to resolution. Lawyers will coordinate the litigation and work together on issues of discovery. The oil spill litigation is potentially a multi-billion dollar claim.
Do you have a oil spill claim?
If you have suffered property damage or loss of income as a result of the oil spill, you may be entitled to compensation.
Please contact our environmental lawyers today by filling out the brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number (1-800-898-2034) for a free, no-cost, no-obligation legal evaluation of your case.