In the years that have passed since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, businesses and individuals have pursued a great deal of litigation against BP and Transocean, but an attorney may still be needed to help those who have yet to file a claim. The catastrophic oil spill that wracked the Gulf Coast in 2010 dumped nearly 5 million barrels of oil into precious waters, causing serious damage to homes and businesses alike. In the aftermath of the disaster, the three parties involved in it all blamed each other for the spill, unsurprisingly. However, a U.S. district judge in 2014 determined that all three shared responsibility for the incident, with Transocean taking on 30 percent of the liability. As the oil platform’s owner, this judgment is not a surprise. However, it does have major implications for future litigation.
What caused the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and subsequent damage to the Gulf Coast?
Investigators have found that multiple safety violations factored into the platform explosion and spill, many of which were attributable to the platform’s owner, Transocean. An attorney experienced in litigating environmental injuries will use these investigations to recover compensation for their clients, whether commercial or individual.
Among the safety violations involved in the explosion was poor monitoring of safety instruments, including pressure sensors. Safety personnel onboard the platform mistakenly believed the pressure inside the drilling column was low enough to allow a switch from drilling fluid to seawater, allowing leaking gasses to rocket to the surface. Investigators also found that safety fallbacks and column construction were poorly executed, increasing the risk of mechanical failure. It is the platform owner’s responsibility to discover and fix these issues before they can cause serious harm, a duty that was not fulfilled.
In the weeks that followed the explosion and spill, millions of gallons of oil poisoned the waters in the Gulf, badly damaging the fishing and tourism industries in the area, as well as harming many other businesses and homes close to the waters. The damage was enough to send many people out of business, and cause lingering medical concerns due to chemical exposure.
Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against the parties involved in the spill, including Transocean. An attorney can help a victim organize their claim against the company, and this assistance can help a victim determine how to proceed. In 2013, the company pled guilty to violating the Clean Water Act, a case pursued by the U.S. Department of Justice. As a result, the platform owner was forced to set aside $1.4 billion for criminal and civil penalties. Much of this will be provided to families harmed by the spill, and courts are waiting for people to come forward and file their claim. A lawyer can help a victim organize their case and pursue the compensation they are owed for the company’s terrible negligence.