One of the biggest tragedies to hit the Gulf Coast of Texas, Louisiana and other states was the April 20, 2010 explosion and fire at the Deepwater Horizon floating offshore platform off the coast of Louisiana. Eleven offshore workers were killed, and the ensuing oil spill caused catastrophic damage to coastal areas and businesses.
Now the historic event has become a feature film, Deepwater Horizon, starring Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell and Kate Hudson. In the first six days since its Sept. 29, 2016 release, the film has made more than $20 million at the box office while receiving almost overwhelmingly favorable reviews and high audience scores.
Offshore Rig Took Terrible Toll
The offshore well’s designer and owner, British company BP, is portrayed as the “bad guy” in the film, and rightly so. According to a federal investigation released on Sept. 14, 2011, fault in the disaster lay with BP, as well as Houston-based Transocean, owner and operator of the rig, and Halliburton Co., which performed faulty cementing at the well’s underwater base.
In the federal report, the U.S. Coast Guard and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement blamed all three for violating federal offshore safety regulations.
Ultimately, BP agreed to pay $4 billion in criminal fines and penalties for the Deepwater Horizon explosion, fire and aftermath, including the worst oil spill in the history of the United States. However, BP’s manslaughter and environmental felonies are not mentioned in the film.
BP also has paid $28 billion in claims and expenses to clean up the Gulf of Mexico and the coasts of neighboring states.
Deepwater Horizon Lawsuits
Understandably, the monumental tragedy has been followed by many Deepwater Horizon lawsuits, both civil and criminal, and including a Clean Water Act lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Justice and other entities.
Overall, the companies involved in the calamity have been the target of hundreds of lawsuits, including 80 class-action lawsuits filed by groups of plaintiffs.
For a time, the U.S. Department of the Interior also imposed a ban on new offshore drilling by anyone.
These Deepwater Horizon lawsuits won’t bring back the 11 offshore workers who were killed in the explosion and fire. But survivors of such tragedies can gain some measure of justice and financial compensation for their losses by means of injury lawsuits.
Jim S. Adler & Associates, an injury law firm which has defended victims’ legal rights for more than 40 years, supports the brave workers on offshore oil and gas rigs and platforms. When such workers are killed or injured on the job, we will fight for the legal rights of them or their families and will claim payments for their losses from negligent employers.
Jones Act Law Can Help Offshore Workers
Such payments often can be gained by asserting the Jones Act, a federal law enacted in 1920 which still supports maritime and marine workers today. Offshore rigs did not exist when the law was written, but court cases over the years have elaborated on the Jones Act’s strictures to include protections for workers on floating rigs and on offshore drilling platforms such as Deepwater Horizon.
If someone in your family suffered injury or death due to the negligence of an oil or gas company while on the job on an offshore rig or platform, notify the injury lawyers of Jim Adler & Associates. We can fight for your right to payments for medical costs, funeral costs, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Deepwater Horizon may be the most notorious fatal offshore rig explosion, but it’s not the only one. Our law firm stands ready to help victims and their survivors when tragedy strikes.