Oil spills are probably some of the most devastating disasters to occur. The Exxon Valdez oil spill happened more than twenty-one years ago, but its effects are still being felt today. This oil spill occurred on March 24, 1989 and the leak was mostly confined to the surface of the ocean. The BP oil spill began on April 20,2010 caused when a damaged well pipe burst resulting in an explosion on the oil platform owned by Deepwater Horizon releasing oil 5,000 feet below the surface.
The Exxon spill was limited to a single tanker and spilled about 11 million gallons of oil in one day covering 1,300 square miles. The BP spill has spilled more than the Exxon spill so far and it is still going strong. Both spills have and will kill brown pelicans, egrets, terns, sperm whales, tuna, sea turtles and more. But, fish can't sue. Only people can.
The lawsuits in the Exxon spill were tied up in the courts for over 20 years. More than 32,000 fishermen, food processors, and Native Americans banded together to recover damages from Exxon. The case was drug out by Exxon lawyers for 19 years until it finally reached the Supreme Court. By this time, more than 7,000 plaintiffs have died. The lawyers won $500,000 million in actual damages and $5 billion in punitive damages. It took five years to get to trial;then it took another fourteen years in the appeals court where the case finally arrived in the Supreme Court before Justice John Roberts in 2008. By that time, the punitive damages were reduced to $2.5 billion.
The first question from Roberts was: "Isn't the question here how a company can protect itself from unlimited damages?" If Bush v. Gore had been decided differently, you might have had a chief justice who asked: "How can a fisherman protect himself from an oil spill?" But, by a 5-3 vote, the Roberts court cut the punitive damage award to one-fifth from $2.5 billion to $500 million. Another justice, David Souter,ruled with the majority and stated that Exxon's actions were not malicious. So if you drive a boat while drunk and cause millions and billions of dollars of damages, it is not malicious;but, if you drive a car drunk,it is not only malicious, but you go to jail. The Exxon case is a perfect example of judicial activism.
So, what is going to happen in the gulf of mexico? BP will pay for cleanup costs,various government agencies will assess huge fines for BP's conduct, but the real money will come during the tort claims process and trial. If we can prove punitive damages, i.e., that BP's conduct was grossly, wantonly, or maliciously done, then the door is open to punitive damages. The testimony of a rig worker claims that BP officials overrode rig operations and forced a speedy opening as opposed to considering the consequences of failing to repair several broken parts before opening. This proof, in and of itself, should make a jury issue on punitive damages.
TYPES OF DAMAGES AND LOSSES: People can make a claim for damages for loss of business, loss of job or reduced income, damage to property, vacation losses,etc. Some examples are: fishing, shrimping, oyster companies and employees, hospitality and tourism businesses and employees,property and boat owners, shipping and trade business and employees, vacationers (lost vacation deposits and expenses), cruise ship employees, charter services, restaurant owners and employees.
COMPANIES THAT MAY BE RESPONSIBLE: BP, Transocean, Halliburton,Anadarko, Cameron,Mitsui & co. and more.
We are working on investigations and damage claims to get compensation for those of you whose income, business, health, property, or other assets have been affected by the BP oil disaster. Investigated claims are settled faster. Your case could be settled quickly out of court to avoid long processes.
We will supply you with BP claim forms and information for maximum recovery. Call our toll free number if you have any questions, 1-800-640-4478. We cannot send out any claim forms until you complete our form under "contact us" on our website at www.accidentattys.com.
Your BP claim forms and information are free as a service to you and we will help determine if you are eligible for any recovery of damages.