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Lake Pontchartrain Property Owner Seeks Damages From BP, Affiliates

NEW ORLEANS - A property owner along Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana on Aug. 17 sued BP, its affiliates and others involved in the drilling for damage to his land (Russell Avocato v. BP, et al., No. 2:10-cv-02770, E.D. La.).

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana as part of MDL 2179, the suit cited a number of failings and reckless conduct by the defendants in their drilling operations at the Deepwater Horizon site.  It asserts claims for negligence, negligence per se, strict liability for abnormally dangerous, ultrahazardous activities, private nuisance and strict liability for product defect.

Russell Avocato, who is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, claims his residential and investment properties, as well as surrounding waters, have been contaminated by pollutants from the spill and the chemical dispersants used during cleanup.  As a result, he experienced interruption and frustration of his use and enjoyment of his properties and will continue to do so because of the long-lasting impact of the oil pollutants, the complaint says.

He has lost property value, and he suffers from stigma effect, he says.

Avocato is represented by Kevin R. Dean, Ronald M. Motley and Joseph F. Rice of Motley Rice in Mount Pleasant, S.C.

Download the complaint.

This update first appeared in HB's Oil Litigation & Insurance Coverage Report.  Developments like this and more will be discussed at the conference titled "Oil in the Gulf: Litigation & Insurance Coverage" scheduled for Nov. 4-5 in Miami produced by HB Litigation Conferences.  For more information, visit subscribers can find Deepwater Horizon-related filings here.  If you do not have a ID, you can get information on how to subscribe here.