Florida Property Owners Seek Protection From BP Oil Spill

Florida Property Owners Seek Protection From BP Oil Spill

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - (Mealey's) A Florida resident and a homeowners association on May 4 filed a class action lawsuit in a federal court against BP PLC and related companies to prevent or mitigate damage to property following the April 20 explosion and fire that destroyed an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico (Dewey Destin, et al. v. BP PLC, et al., No. 10-00141, N.D. Fla.).

The uncapped well has been spilling millions of gallons of oil into the water each day since the accident.

Dewey Destin of Destin, Fla., and the Edgewater Beach Owners Association Inc. filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida to bring or fund "protective barriers" to the potentially affected waterfront areas in Okaloosa and Walton counties.  "While the damage from the approaching disaster would still be significant, properly designed barriers could allow Plaintiffs and the class to avoid or minimize substantial irreparable harm and minimize the damages," the plaintiffs say.

The plaintiffs name as defendants BP Products North America Inc., BP America Inc., Transocean Ltd., Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc., Transocean Deepwater Inc., Halliburton Energy Services Inc. and Cameron International Corp., f/k/a Cooper Cameron Corp.

The plaintiffs seeks to represent individuals or entities that own or lease real property, and/or those that have businesses, including fishing-related businesses, within certain boundaries in Okaloosa and Walton counties.

The complaint seeks declaratory judgment concerning strict liability under Florida's Pollution Discharge Prevention and Control Act and alleges gross negligence and willful misconduct; liability under the federal Oil Pollution Act, including uncapped liability for gross negligence and willful misconduct; and common-law strict liability.

The plaintiffs seek class certification, injunctive relief, "establishment of a court-administered fund to ensure timely prophylactic remedies are in place to protect Plaintiffs and the class" and compensatory, economic and punitive damages.

[Editor's Note:  Full coverage will be in the May issue of Mealey's Litigation Report:  Pollution Liability.  In the meantime, the complaint is available at www.mealeysonline.com or by calling the Customer Support Department at 1-800-833-9844.  Document #08-100506-017C.  For all of your legal news needs, please visit www.lexisnexis.com/mealeys.]

Download the document now:

Mealeysonline.com - Document #08-100506-017C

For more information, e-mail editor Samantha Drake at samantha.drake@lexisnexis.com.