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Not that it was facing a shortage of problems, but BP can add another one to the list. BP already had over 250 lawsuits against it, but residents of Georgia with coastal property in Florida have filed another lawsuit, this one a class action against BP. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court of Northern Georgia. The members of the class allege that the BP oil spill has damaged their property.
The lawsuit was filed by Taylor English Duma LLP and Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison & Norwood LLP. The defendants are BP, Transocean and other parties involved in the oil spill. The class members are seeking monetary damages for loss of property value, loss of income and loss of enjoyment. BP has set up a $20 billion trust fund to help pay for claims caused by the oil spill.
The April 20 Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, owned by BP, exploded, causing oil to stream continuously into the gulf. The explosion killed 11 platform workers and injured 17 others. Several attempts have been made to stop the flow of oil, but nothing has been successful so far. The oil has now spread throughout the gulf and is causing massive damage to the environment as well as industry. It is one of the most serious environmental disasters in United States history.
Chris Schorr, one of the named plaintiffs in the lawsuit said "I was planning on using vacation property rental income to pay for my son's college education ... Now, I'm left with a property that has virtually no value that I'm being asked to pay on."
BP has said that it plans to honor all legitimate claims made regarding the spill. Cases such as this class action appear fairly straightforward so chances are good that the plaintiffs will be able to recover. Although, it's always worth remembering when it comes to settlements: it's not over 'till the check clears.
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