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Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over Oil Leak From Gulf Rig Explosion

HOUSTON - Attorneys with The Lanier Law Firm have announced a class action lawsuit filed April 30 on behalf of Louisiana residents affected by the oil spill caused by the Deepwater Horizon explosion.

On April 20, an explosion and fire occurred on the Deepwater Horizon, a massive oil rig owned by Swiss-based Transocean Ltd. (NYSE:RIG) and leased to UK-based BP PLC (NYSE:BP).

According to the lawsuit, BP PLC, Transocean Ltd., Cameron International Corp. and Halliburton Energy Services violated the Oil Pollution Act and were negligent in failing to properly operate, inspect and maintain the Deepwater Horizon rig. Attorneys for the plaintiffs also allege that the defendants' inadequately responded to the explosion and resulting oil leak, causing severe damage to the ecosystem in the Gulf of Mexico.

The companies initially reported that the well was leaking 1,000 barrels per day, but evidence now shows that the well is leaking more than 5,000 barrels, according to the law firm.

According to the lawsuit, the defendants "impaired the response to the emergency, greatly increasing the danger to the environment, human health, and the Gulf Coast economy, by knowingly understating the amount of oil that was leaking from the well." The lawsuit also alleges that the oil spill "has formed a vast expanse of thick, poisonous sludge, contaminating an area larger than the state of Rhode Island. The oil slick will continue to expand until the ruptured pipe is shut off, a process that could take weeks or months."

The lawsuit, Nova Affiliated, S.A. v. BP, PLC et al., No. 2:10-cv-01313, was filed April 30 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The plaintiffs are represented by Mark Lanier and Dana Taschner of The Lanier Law Firm and attorneys with New Orleans' Herman Herman Katz & Cotlar.

Download a copy of the complaint.