GULF OF MEXICO — The Gulf Oil Spill Litigation Group announced that Mississippi shrimpers, oystermen and crabbers, along with Mississippi shrimping and sea food companies, have filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of themselves and other Mississippi residents and businesses who have suffered economic losses caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.
Defendants named in the complaint include BP PLC, and BP America Inc., which owned the oil well, Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc., which leased the oil rig to BP, Halliburton Energy Services Inc., which was engaged in cementing operations at the well, and Cameron International Corporation, which supplied the blowout preventer valves for the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that failed to activate.
“While we hope the leak is stopped soon, the spill is rapidly expanding and may eclipse the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster as the worst U.S. oil disaster in history,” said Don Barrett of the Barrett Law Group located in Lexington and counsel for plaintiffs. “This unfolding economic and ecological disaster, the complaint charges, was the result of negligence by BP and the other corporations involved in drilling at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.”
“The oil spill threatens severe damage to the delicate wetlands and intertidal zones that line the Gulf Coast, destroying the habitats where fish, shellfish, and crustaceans breed, spawn, and mature,” said Zach Butterworth of Hesse & Butterworth, PLLC, of Bay St. Louis. “The livelihoods of shrimpers, fishermen, and other persons whose businesses depends on the aquatic wildlife of the Gulf Coast, as well as persons in the recreational fishing, tourist and hospitality industries, are at risk.”
“We caution residents from accepting any payments conditioned upon signing a document releasing BP from liability before speaking to the lawyers of the Gulf Oil Spill Litigation Group,” stated Edward C. Taylor of the Gulfport office of Daniel Coker Horton & Bell, P.A. “It is our duty is to identify all responsible parties, advise you of your rights and true value of your claim, and maximize the compensation that can be obtained.”
The complaint charges that defendants failed to employ necessary safety measures and technologies to prevent damage to marine and coastal environments and estuarine areas.