As British Petroleum, the U.S. government and other various entities continue to determine an effective way to stop the steady daily flow of hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, Florida fishermen are continuing to mount lawsuits against BP as well. Claiming the spill is cutting their catches in half and ruining their livelihoods, the fishermen filed their class action suit on the same day the government started shutting down prime fishing locations.
The lawsuit, filed in Louisiana, is open to anyone whose career income is made from the Gulf. The Memorial Day weekend saw such businesses as charter boat services and recreational fishing escorts crippled by customer cancellations.
The heart of the lawsuit involves the Miami River. Fishing boats travel the river to get to the Gulf, but with more prime fishing spots being closed, each day’s catch for these fishermen continues to drop in quantity. And with the spill reaching as far as Louisiana, there is a marked increase in those affected. While some fishermen reported they had received the first part of scheduled payments, they remain in a battle to streamline the payment process.
With BP stocks falling over the past few weeks, the future continues to look bleak for the oil company’s finances. While lawyers and fishermen agree the initial payments have helped, they are far from the amount the spill’s effects have had on their businesses and incomes. The claims filing systems have proven to be inadequate at best. Fishermen complain they are required to provide excessive financial records that involve countless trips back to the BP hired claims adjusters, who sometimes ask for more information. Some of the fishermen complain their claims have been pushed back because they have hired private attorneys to handle their claims.
As the lawsuits have come to judges in various states, many of the judges have granted stays in the litigation, in order to enable the defendants, who find themselves having to litigate in several jurisdictions, the chance to handle discovery. Those granting the stays have commented that the time plaintiffs have to wait to be heard are outweighed by the possibilities of conflicting discovery orders.
While BP has had no success in its attempts to close the leak, its latest attempt has yet to yield an outcome. The oil company has tried to fit a funnel shaped covering over the pipe, which has been spewing out 200,000 barrels a day. Engineers are hoping the rubber seal on the cap will cut off the flow, although they admit the possibility of minor leakage to remain.
If you own or operate property or a business that has been affected by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, contact Newsome Law Firm and fill out a case evaluation form today. Our team of attorneys has experience specific to complications associated with environmental disasters. Not only can they give you the legal guidance you need, they can help you get the compensation you deserve.