A seven-member federal judicial panel in Idaho recently heard arguments about which jurisdiction is best suited for a consolidation of more than 300 lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
According to the Associated Press, some of the nearly two dozen attorneys argued that it might be unfair to move a consolidated case to Houston, where BP would like the proceedings to take place. Most of the plaintiffs appeared to favor New Orleans, as does the Justice Department.
No matter where the case is finally heard, it's clear that it will be a highly contentious one. It will reignite what has been waning media interest in BP's Macondo well where the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon took place.
Impact of the Spill to Last for Years
The impact of those events will be felt along the Gulf Coast for years to come. Residents, businesses, wildlife and the environment have been hit hard.
In Texas, tarballs recently washed ashore, oil-drenched birds were found, and businesses have languished as tourism, shrimping, fishing, restaurants, deepwater drilling and other ventures slowed or came to a halt.
Potential Defendants in Oil Spill Lawsuits
The main companies that were working together on the deepwater well off of the coast of Louisiana that led to the unprecedented spill were British Petroleum (BP), Halliburton and Transocean.
Individuals and businesses along the Gulf are still assessing their legal options and trying to determine who will be held liable for damages to property and industry. Liability is likely to go beyond BP, extending possibly to Transocean and Halliburton, as well as with insurance companies that issued policies to protect businesses and properties. Cameron International, manufacturer of the Deepwater Horizon's failed blowout preventer, is also being named in suits.
Victims of the Spill
Texas residents and business owners still considering claims in the oil spill include the following:
- Business owners who suffered long-term damage to their business and source of revenue in fishing (shrimp, oysters, other seafood); tourism, resort or hospitality-related; shipping.
- Property owners on the Gulf Coast who suffered damage to their property.
- Business owners who suffered interruptions or shut-downs of their operations directly due to the spill or clean-up or recovery efforts mandated by the government.
- Individuals exposed to toxins in the course of work in the oil spill clean-up or recovery.
If you or your business has been harmed by the oil spill or its aftereffects on the economy, contact a Texas business litigation attorney who understands not only the law, but how Texas was affected by this disaster. A business litigation lawyer can assess the facts of your case and help you pursue full, fair compensation from the liable parties.