Gulf oil spill suits are being filed on behalf of Louisiana businesses and staff, seafood wholesalers, crabbers and shrimpers idled by spreading oil.

Louisiana Gulf area residents may discuss their experience with the spill and get a free legal review via the form. Our attorneys are currently speaking with families whose livelihoods have been taken away due to this catastrophic environmental disaster.

Our firm has watched with alarm and deep sorrow as the BP oil spill off the Gulf Coast has spread, coating wildlife with heavy black oil, killing fish, threatening the safety of seafood, and damaging—perhaps irrevocably—the Gulf of Mexico’s marine, coastal and estuarine environments. This catastrophic spill has reached Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Texas and Alabama, contaminating waters, and sidelining thousands of fishermen and many others whose jobs are affected by the area’s natural resources.

Robin Greenwald, an attorney and head of the Weitz & Luxenberg Environmental and Toxic Torts unit said, “The impact of the Gulf oil spill on the ecosystem is as yet incalculable—we are still witnessing its ever-widening destructive influence.” She added, “So many people who depended on the Gulf waters for their livelihoods—from shrimpers and boat captains, to seafood processing plants and tourism businesses such as restaurants—are in deep trouble, financially, struggling to survive.”

Among particular trades ravaged by the spill are those who commercially fish or act as fish spotters for Gulf menhadens, fish that play an extremely important role in the ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico and the fishing industry, shrimpers, crabbers and seafood wholesalers and retailers. In addition, the tourism industry has been devastated.

Unfortunately, the business season for most of these people, lasting from April to October, has been throttled by the pollution and the government’s closure of Gulf waters. The spill has imperiled the ability of captains, deckhands, dock workers, restaurant workers and others in the fishing and tourism industries to earn a living and the catastrophe has destroyed a way of life in the Gulf.

The firm’s environmental attorneys have traveled to witness the devastation in Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama, and to help people whose lives have been, or will be, impacted by the spill. Last week, Weitz & Luxenberg, together with Herman Herman Katz & Cotlar LLP, filed an oil spill lawsuit on behalf of plaintiffs in Louisiana (docket #: 2:10-cv-02114) on the heels of two other suits in that state filed together with the law firm of Breit Drescher & Imprevento (docket nos. 2:10-cv-01472-CJB-SS and 2:10-cv-01752-CJB-SS).

The suits, filed against BP, PLC, Transocean, LTD, and other defendants, are prompted by the explosion that occurred on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig on April 20, 2010, which led to the massive oil spill in the Gulf waters and killed 11 workers. Our suits allege, among other things, that the defendants knew the dangers associated with the Deepwater Horizon’s drilling and failed to take appropriate measures to prevent damage to the plaintiffs’ and the marine, coastal and estuarine areas of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast where the plaintiffs work and earn a living.

The suits cite a 2004 study by Federal regulators that laid bare the inadequacy of safety measures in place for Deepwater Horizon’s deep-sea drilling, a type of drilling that increases the risk of the chief blowout safety mechanism, the “BOP.”

“This grim snapshot illustrates the lack of preparedness in the industry to shear and seal a well with the last line of defense against a blowout,” the study said. Those words of caution, written six years ago, about the lack of safety on many oil rigs, appear to have gone unheeded. The suits also allege fault on the part of the defendants with respect to the procedures and materials used for drilling and cementing the well that caused or exacerbated conditions that led to the explosion.

Fishermen and business owners, and others affected by the oil spill, may discuss their situation with our oil spill attorneys and get a free legal review by completing the form.

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