Gulf spill’s legal aftermath persists as Alabama files lawsuit against BP
The state of Alabama has filed several lawsuits against BP, Transocean and other companies involved in the massive spill that has affected the Gulf of Mexico. As one of the four states that suffered in the wake of the disastrous spill, Alabama has been seeking monetary compensation for the extensive damages sustained by its ecology, fauna, flora, infrastructure, and people. The major clean-up and rehab hours costs are also listed as items due for compensation.
The state’s officials have stated that they hold BP fully responsible for the spill and the damages it inflicted on the environment. They added that the amount listed in the lawsuit is no more or less than what the state requires in order to fully recover.
The lawsuits have arrived just as BP has forged plans to go ahead with the bottom well that will put a final period at the end of the spill and the busted well.
However some issues surround the relief well plans. Since the bottom kill may not be necessary, the company runs the risk of putting too much pressure on the already-capped well and causing another leak.
Many experts have stated that if more cement is pumped into the sealed well, the potential for more oil gushing out into the Gulf is more than what the company may want at this time, since the public outcry over the spill is only now slowly dying down.
Despite these concerns, BP has announced that it will perform the bottom well anyway.
Halliburton which is assisting BP with the relief well operations is also prominently mentioned in Alabama’s lawsuit, as is Transocean, which was the owner of the rig that exploded and sank, killing 11 crewmen and spewing massive amounts of oil into the water.
Considering that the initial explosion on the rig had to do with faulty cement covering, any rash decision made by BP on the topic of cementing the well should be thought and re-thought numerous times over.
One of the main issues in the suit is the indifferent approach that the companies involved took to the hazards the well represented to people and nature, rather focusing their aim purely on profit.
The fishing and tourist industries of the surrounding states have plummeted since the spill, and as the region heads towards slow recovery, lawsuits have been sprouting up against the companies held responsible.
There has been a $20 billion fund set up by BP for full compensation that is expected to deal with all legal woes that the ailing region might file with the company. Almost 150,000 claims have been filed already, and though 40,000 are still awaiting revision, BP has not denied any of the lawsuits yet.