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Information on the BP Oil Spill


News about the BP oil spill gets worse by the day. Estimates on the amount of oil that was going to enter Gulf water have been grossly underestimated. And the cost estimates have skyrocketed. BP says that, as of May 28, 2010, it has spent $930 million in its clean-up efforts. These costs include not only what it has spent on responding to the spill, but drilling relief wells, paying grants to Gulf states, damage claims and federal costs.

It didn’t take long for claims of compensation to start coming in. Class action suits have been filed claiming a number of a grievances: Loss of earnings, loss of property, traumatic stress, and bereavement.

Legal claims in the Exxon Valdez case took 20 years to be settled. And, since the BP oil spill has already reached well beyond the disaster level of the Valdez, there’s no reason to think it will not also be a long drawn out legal battle.

Transocean, which owns the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that exploded and sank two days later, asked a judge to limit claims against it to $27 million under an 1851 maritime law limiting liability. BP is seeking up to $700 million from Transocean's insurers.

While BP had difficulty quantifying future costs and liabilities associated with the spill in the early stages of the disaster, financial services company UBS has suggested that BP could face upwards of $17 billion when it is all over with.

Who Can Sue

There are various scenarios for a person or company to sue BP and/or Transocean for damages incurred due to the oil spill. The most heart-wrenching is the cases of bereavement suffered by the families of 11 workers who were killed when BP's Deepwater Horizon rig caught fire and sank on April 30, 2010.

Surviving workers are able to sue for pain and suffering. According to one lawsuit, BP kept the surviving workers alongside the burning oil rig with the knowledge that their friends and coworkers were dying on it.

Besides people who were directly involved in the oil spill, there are those who are taking part in class action lawsuits in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. This includes business owners and workers who are claiming loss of earnings. The federal government may also file criminal charges based on federal environmental laws. This will depend on proof of negligence, deliberate misconduct or violations of federal regulations. can help you learn more about your legal concerns related to insurance claims and compensation for hardships. If you live in an area that has been affected by the BP oil spill tragedy, we can help you locate an attorney who specializes in insurance disputes, maritime or oil spill law.
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