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As the start date for the multidistrict litigation against BP and others accepting responsibility for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill draws near, a federal report made public on Sept. 14 pins ultimate accountability on BP. The April 20, 2010, explosion on the Deepwater Horizon led to the largest oil spill in United States history and claimed the lives of 11 people. The lives and livelihoods of thousands more were impacted in the aftermath. According to the federal study, which was conducted by a U.S. Coast Guard investigation team and the agency that regulates offshore drilling, BP made a series of mistakes in the buildup to the oil spill and then failed to alert the government and partners—such as Transocean, which owned the oil rig—when it realized its errors. In fact, Halliburton, which acted a cement contractor for BP on the Deepwater Horizon, recently filed a lawsuit against BP alleging the oil company knew about issues relating to deposits of flammable gas that may have played a role in the oil spill. The failure of BP to divulge this information is cited in the federal report. While earlier investigations have spread the blame more broadly, the Coast Guard and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement report states that BP, as the decision maker, “was ultimately responsible for conducting operations … in a way that ensured the safety and protection of personnel, equipment, natural resources, and the environment.” If you suffered harm as a result of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill or you were not paid adequately for your participation in BP’s Vessels of Opportunity (VOO) program, it’s advisable to discuss your circumstances with an experienced maritime attorney. The Mobile, Alabama, lawyers at Long & Long invite you to contact us for a free case evaluation if your livelihood was affected by the oil spill.

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