Attorneys take legal action against BP and others involved in Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster

May 8th, 2010 - 1:25 am ICT by BNO News  

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA (BNO NEWS) – A team of nationally known attorneys filed an amended complaint in one of the first Florida class action lawsuits over the sinking of the oil rig Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico, Howard & Associates, P.A. said Friday.

With the BP oil spill generating worldwide environmental concern and its increasing threats to Florida’s fishing, maritime and tourism industries, Gulf Actions Spill Counsel (GASP), a team of attorneys, which is being led by Tallahassee lawyer and Northeastern University Professor P. Tim Howard, filed an amended complaint in the U.S. District Court in Tallahassee last Friday.

The complaint alleges gross negligence, willful misconduct and other claims in the design, construction and operation of the rig, as well as in the response to the disaster.

“Oil continues to flow into the gulf, and with it an environmental nightmare,” Howard said, who most recently played a leading role in coordinating a national team of more than 40 law firms in the Toyota sudden acceleration lawsuits. “This unmitigated horror threatens to destroy one of the most beautiful marine, coastal and estuarine environments in the world.”

Considered as one of the world’s most beautiful beaches by several media sources, Panama City Beach, and its surrounding coastlines, are among those expected to be directly impacted by the oil slick as it moves onshore.

Among the plaintiffs are George Weems Ward, who lives in East Point, Florida, on Apalachicola Bay near Panama City. Mr. Ward earns his living as a guide fisherman, shrimper, and oysterman. He is joined by plaintiff Jeff Galloway, who lives on nearby St. George Island, where he works as a real estate broker. A third lead plaintiff in the class action is Constance Ward (no relation to Mr. Ward), who owns property in Cape San Blas, Florida, also just south of Panama City.

The offenders include various divisions of oil giant BP (formerly British Petroleum), Transocean, Ltd. (the owners/operators of the Deepwater Horizon), Halliburton Energy (which was involved in “cementing” operations to cap the oil rig when the explosion occurred) and Cameron International Corporation (manufacturers of the rig’s blow-out-preventers, which failed to operate properly and prevent the oil spill).

Similar lawsuits are planned for Texas, Alabama and Mississippi.

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