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Litigation

Mobile Resident Files Lawsuit Against BP Charging Ill Health Effects From Exposure To Oil

MT. PLEASANT, S.C. - Charging BP and other defendants with harming his health and causing serious personal injuries, a Mobile, Ala., resident and recreational fisherman has filed suit against 16 companies involved in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (Carlisle v. BP P.L.C., et al., No. n/a, Ala. Cir., Mobile Co.).

According to the lawsuit:

On May 29, 2010, Obie F. Carlisle was fishing for flounder in Mobile Bay, near Fairhope and Bayou La Batra, Ala. For three or four hours, he waded in the bay to engage in "flounder gigging," a method of flounder fishing. Unbeknownst to him, he was exposed to oil and toxins from the Deepwater Horizon spill; there were no signs posted warning of this danger. Shortly afterward, Carlisle experienced painful rashes, nosebleeds, nasal blockages and shortness of breath, afflictions that continue to this day.

"The gross negligence and recklessness of BP is destroying people's lives in so many different ways that they must be punished to the full extent of the law," said Ron Motley of Motley Rice LLC, one of the nation's largest plaintiffs' litigation firms, and counsel for the complainant.

The complaint was filed in Circuit Court for Mobile County, Ala. It is noteworthy as a health effects lawsuit involving a private citizen engaged in recreational activity rather than occupational exposure.

The complaint alleges the defendants cut corners on safety, ignored federal and state laws and regulations, failed to prepare for the disaster they knew was entirely foreseeable, and then, after the explosion, tried to cover up the severity of the spill and downplay its catastrophic impact, undermining cleanup efforts. It also documents the plaintiff's exposure to the oil and the adverse impact it has had on his health. In particular, the complaint summarizes the full array of scientific evidence of the harmful impact that crude oil has on human health. Noting that the oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill contains benzene, toluene, polyaromatic hydrocarbons and other compounds that are known carcinogens, the complaint alleges that exposure has been shown to cause rashes, dizziness, headaches, nausea, infertility, immune system suppression, disruption of hormone levels, blood disorders, mutations, cancer and lung, liver and kidney damage.

In addition, the complaint alleges that rather than deploying dispersant chemicals known to be reasonably safe, the defendants used more than 1 million gallons of Corexit products, which have been banned in the United Kingdom since 1998. A key ingredient in these products is 2-butoxyethanol, exposure to which can cause rashes, coughing, wheezing, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, dizziness, liver and kidney damage, cancer and skin, nose and throat irritation.

The lawsuit demands a jury trial and compensatory and punitive damages.

Motley Rice LLC is one of the nation's largest plaintiffs' litigation firms. For more information, visit www.motleyrice.com/environmental/bp-gulf-oil-spill or http://www.motleyrice.com/.

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