The experienced Alabama maritime attorneys at Long & Long are dedicated to helping those who suffered injury or economic loss as a result of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill recover the financial compensation they deserve. Although the deadline to join the federal case against Transocean—which owned the Deepwater Horizon oil rig—and others responsible for the disaster passed on April 20, Long & Long is accepting cases for those who entered into Vessels of Opportunity (VOO) agreements with BP and were not paid or were paid incompletely. The VOO program employed otherwise out-of-work boat operators whose livelihoods were put on hold as a result of the spill. More than 3,200 boat operators in the Gulf states participated in clean-up efforts through VOO, according to the U.S. government’s oil spill website. Under the VOO agreements, boat owners were to be available to BP 24 hours a day, and the vessels were not to be used for any purpose other than those dictated by BP during the term established in the VOO. In addition to compensating boat operators for their time and the use of their vessels, BP was to be responsible for decontaminating the vessels as well as providing protective clothing and equipment, and paying for costs associated with damage and other expenses incurred during the work. Now, nearly 100 boat owners who participated in the VOO program have launched legal action against BP. According to the lawsuit, BP broke several promises, including not paying boat operators for standby time, not repairing boats and not decontaminating boats sufficiently or in a timely fashion. More claims are likely to come. In a recent letter to the head of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange claimed that thousands of boat operators in Alabama alone are still owed compensation for work and standby time while participating in the VOO program. If you participated in the Vessels of Opportunity program and were either not paid or paid inadequately, please contact the accomplished Alabama attorneys at Long & Long, for a free case evaluation.