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NEW YORK - Plaintiff firm Weitz & Luxenberg P.C. announced Aug. 3 the filing of a third lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on behalf of thousands of fishermen and others whose jobs are affected by the BP oil spill off the Gulf Coast (Le, et al. v. BP Exploration & Production Inc., et al., No. 2:10cv2114, E.D. La.).
The lawsuit, filed July 28 by Weitz & Luxenberg and Herman Herman Katz & Cotlar LLP, follows two lawsuits filed by Weitz & Luxenberg and Breit Drescher & Imprevento (Mitchell, et al. v. BP Plc, et al., No. 2:10-cv-01472-CJB-SS, and Fruge, et al. v. BP Plc, et al., No. 2:10-cv-01752-CJB-SS, E.D. La.).
The suits, filed against BP PLC, Transocean and other defendants, are prompted by the explosion that occurred on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig on April 20, 2010, which led to the massive oil spill in the Gulf waters and killed 11 workers. Our suits allege, among other things, that the defendants knew the dangers associated with the Deepwater Horizon's drilling and failed to take appropriate measures to prevent damage to the plaintiffs and the marine, coastal and estuarine areas of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, where the plaintiffs work and earn a living.
The suits cite a 2004 study by federal regulators that laid bare the inadequacy of safety measures in place for Deepwater Horizon's deep-sea drilling, a type of drilling that increases the risk of the chief blowout safety mechanism, the "BOP," according to Weitz & Luxenberg.
"This grim snapshot illustrates the lack of preparedness in the industry to shear and seal a well with the last line of defense against a blowout," the study said.
The suits also allege fault on the part of the defendants with respect to the procedures and materials used for drilling and cementing the well that caused or exacerbated conditions that led to the explosion.
Robin Greenwald, an attorney and head of the Weitz & Luxenberg Environmental and Toxic Torts unit said, "The impact of this spill on the ecosystem is as yet incalculable - we are still witnessing its ever-widening destructive influence. So many people who depended on the Gulf waters for their livelihoods - from shrimpers and boat captains, to seafood processing plants and tourism businesses such as restaurants - are in deep trouble, financially, struggling to survive."
Among particular trades ravaged by the spill are those who commercially fish or act as fish spotters for Gulf menhaden, fish that play an extremely important role in the ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico and the fishing industry, shrimpers, crabbers and seafood wholesalers and retailers. In addition, the tourism industry has been devastated. The spill has imperiled the ability of captains, deckhands, dock workers, restaurant workers and others in the fishing and tourism industries to earn a living.
Weitz & Luxenberg, founded in 1986, is one of the leading plaintiffs' litigation law firms in America. For more information, visit www.weitzlux.com.
Download the Le complaint.
Download the Mitchell complaint.
Download the Fruge complaint.
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For more content related to the Gulf oil spill, go to the Gulf Oil Spill Litigation Hub on the LexisNexis Emerging Issues Law Community.