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Deep Water Horizon Lawsuits

The real-life events of an offshore oil rig explosion have led to a Hollywood blockbuster flick. Based on a true story, Deep Water Horizon takes place in April 2010 when there is no oil exploration operation in the Gulf of Mexico to compare with the Deepwater Horizon oil rig with its size or sheer depth of its drilling. However, the project for the BP oil company is beset with technical difficulties to the point where the general operational supervisor, Jimmy Harrell, and his Chief Electrical Engineer, Mike Williams, are concerned potentially dangerous trouble is brewing. Unfortunately, visiting BP executives, frustrated by the project’s long delays, order curtailed site inspections and slanted system tests to make up for lost time even as Harrell, Williams and his team helplessly protest for the sake of proper safety. On April 20, the workers’ fears are realized in the worst possible way when the rig’s various structural and system flaws spark a catastrophic cascade of failures that would create a massive blowout and explosion that threatens them all, even as it also begins the worst environmental disaster in US history.-According to IMDB.

Litigation commenced almost immediately after the explosion and oil spill. By May 27, 2010, Transocean, which owned the Deepwater Horizon, said in testimony before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee that it was the defendant in 120 lawsuits, of which more than 80 were class actions seeking payment for financial losses covered by the Oil Spill Pollution Act. The company said that most of these early plaintiffs were “fishermen, hotel operators, landowners, rental companies, restaurants and seafood processors, who claim a current or potential future loss of business in the aftermath of the oil spill (Clingman, Rachel (2010-05-27). “Testimony Before The Committee on the Judiciary, United States House of Representatives: Liability Issues Surrounding the Gulf Coast Oil Disaster, May 27, 2010”).

On March 2, 2012, BP agreed to settle roughly 100,000 claims filed by individuals and businesses affected by the spill. According to a group representing the plaintiffs, the deal has no specific cap; BP estimated that it would pay approximately $7.8 billion. BP says that it has $9.5 billion in assets set aside in a trust to pay the claims, and the settlement will not increase the $37.2 billion the company budgeted for spill-related expenses. Individual claimants would not be required to agree to the settlement, but experts estimate that such claims would be insignificant. By December 2013, BP had paid nearly $13 billion in claims to businesses, individuals and the government (Fahey, Jonathan; Kahn, Chris (3 March 2012). “BP begins to put spill behind it with settlement”. Boston.com. The Associated Press).

If a loved one suffered injury or death due to the negligence of an oil or gas company while on the job on an offshore rig or drilling site, do not hesitate to contact attorneys at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C.