Class actions mount in federal court over Horizon Deepwater explosion

Michelle Massey May 5, 2010, 7:57am

While BP promises pay for oil spill damage from the April 20 Horizon Deepwater oil rig explosion, lawsuits continue to mount in federal court in New Orleans.

Another 11 class action suits have been filed through May 1.

Seven of the recent cases propose to represent all Louisiana residents who live, work, or derive income from the Louisiana coastal zone. The plaintiffs argue that the oil spill and contamination will cause a significant loss of revenue to those being prevented from using the Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana's coastal zone. Each of them state that economic and compensatory damage will exceed $5 million. The lawsuits are holding BP, Transocean Offshore Deepwater, Halliburton, and Cameron International liable for the massive oil spill resulting from the explosion and fire aboard the oil rig Deepwater Horizon. (Case No. 2:10cv01246ILRL; 2:10cv01248KDE; 2:10cv01249JCZ; 2:10cv1250CJB; 2:10cv01313LMA; 2:10cv01314HGB; 2:10cv01315MVL)

One lawsuit filed on behalf of Ray Vath and Louisiana Environmental Action Network is asking that the defendants be ordered to remove all oil from Louisiana's wetland areas and waters, require comprehensive testing and monitoring of the area and implementation of a long term abatement strategy to ensure recovery of Louisiana's wetland areas and waters impacted by the oil.

The Louisiana Environmental Action Network also is seeking an injunction to require defendants to re-seed all oyster habitats in Plaquemines Parish and St. Bernard Parish which were impacted due to the oil.

Defendants include BP, Transocean, Anadarko Petroleum, MOEX Offshore, Cameron International and Halliburton. (Case No. 2:10cv01273ILRL)

Darleen Jacobs Levy filed a class action on behalf of residents and property owners affected by the spill. Levy owns property that supports several rare plant species and has an abundance of waterfowl and wild life that is now allegedly inundated with oil and petroleum substances. She states that she and other Louisiana and Mississippi property owners have suffered mental anguish, emotional distress, inconvenience, loss of use, loss of property value, loss of income, loss of profits, loss of business opportunity and a fear of cancer. (Case No. 2:10cv01245SSV)

An Alabama company claims the spill will cause a decrease in rental value in Florida. Matthias Properties filed a lawsuit in New Orleans that claims the oil spill has caused decreased rental revenue and diminished property value for the companies Florida Condominiums. (Case No. 2:10cv01309HGB)

Asking for more than $5 million in damages another proposed class action filed last week is seeking to represent all Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida residents who live, work, or derive income from the respective states' "coastal zones" and who have been affected by the oil spill. Named plaintiffs include Bill's Oyster House, Michael Williams, Ronald Olivier and Nicole Worhtman. (Case No. 2:10cv01308MLCF)

Last week, two class actions and a personal injury suit were filed in the New Orleans federal court with similar allegations.

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