Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over Oil Leak from Gulf Rig Explosion
On April 20, 2010, an explosion and fire occurred on the Deepwater Horizon, a massive oil rig owned by Swiss-based Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG) and leased to UK-based BP PLC (NYSE: BP).
According to the lawsuit, BP PLC, Transocean Ltd., Cameron International Corporation and Halliburton Energy Services violated the Oil Pollution Act and were negligent in failing to properly operate, inspect, and maintain the Deepwater Horizon rig. Attorneys for the plaintiffs also allege that the defendants’ inadequately responded to the explosion and resulting oil leak, causing severe damage to the fragile ecosystem in the Gulf of Mexico.
The companies initially reported that the well was leaking 1,000 barrels per day, but evidence now shows that the well is leaking more than 5,000 barrels.
According to the lawsuit, the defendants “impaired the response to the emergency, greatly increasing the danger to the environment, human health, and the Gulf Coast economy, by knowingly understating the amount of oil that was leaking from the well.” The lawsuit also alleges that the Gulf oil spill “has formed a vast expanse of thick, poisonous sludge, contaminating an area larger than the state of Rhode Island. The oil slick will continue to expand until the ruptured pipe is shut off, a process that could take weeks or months.
“By consciously understating the magnitude of the leak, the defendants put the entire Gulf Coast region in increasing danger,” says attorney Mark Lanier. “This oil will not simply evaporate off the water, and in two months we’re likely to be looking at a spill surpassing the Exxon Valdez disaster.”
The lawsuit, NovaAffiliates, S.A. v. BP, PLC et al., Cause No. 10-1313, was filed April 30, 2010, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. In addition to Mr. Lanier, the plaintiffs are represented by attorneys with New Orleans’ Herman Herman Katz & Cotlar.
For more information, contact The Lanier Law Firm.