Florida becomes fourth gulf state to sue BP for Deepwater Horizon oil spill
By The Associated Press
Published: Saturday, April 20, 2013, 8:39 p.m.
TALLAHASSEE — Florida filed a lawsuit on Saturday against oil company BP and cement contractor Halliburton over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill — becoming the fourth state to seek damages for the 2010 disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
The suit faults BP for not changing the batteries on the rig's blowout preventer. Halliburton was blamed for installing faulty cement barriers that were supposed to gird the well against oil pressure.
The 40-page complaint by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi was filed in U.S. District Court in Panama City. The federal court has jurisdiction under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.
Bondi sued on the three-year anniversary of the tragedy, which killed 11 rig workers.
Mississippi sued on Friday. Louisiana and Alabama sued BP earlier and are participating in a federal trial that is ongoing in New Orleans to determine the liability of BP and others. Cities and counties along the Gulf Coast also have sued.
A BP spokesman declined comment on Saturday, and Halliburton spokespeople were not immediately available.
A note on BP's website on Saturday from BP America Chairman and President John Mingé said: “On the third anniversary of the tragic accident in the Gulf of Mexico, our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of our 11 colleagues who died and those injured.”
A battery-operated blowout preventer, powered by “a series of 9-volt battery packs,” was supposed to activate automatically but didn't, according to the lawsuit, because BP didn't replace the batteries.
“BP knew or should have known that the manufacturer recommended replacement of the batteries in the battery packs at least once per year,” Florida's lawsuit says.
Divers later couldn't manually turn it on, either. The suit also blames BP for installing a defective valve on the same blowout preventer.
The spill fouled 1,100 miles of beaches and marsh along the Gulf Coast — keeping away waves of summer tourists who swim and fish in the waters.
“Indeed, Florida relies on the pristine nature of the Gulf of Mexico as the source for much of the attraction of patrons, tourists and visitors,” its litigation says.
The suit focuses on the state's economic losses and includes negligence and other claims under federal, state and maritime law.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Obama administration delays decision on Keystone XL pipeline
- SpaceX supply ship makes Easter cargo delivery to space station
- U.S. to cut nuclear ICBMs, keep launch silos under new START treaty
- Medicaid paid $12M for Illinois dead, audit finds
- Iranian envoy officially blocked by law