Ten years ago, on April 22, the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig exploded, causing the largest marine oil spill in history. After the explosion, an estimated 136 to 206 million gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. The explosion killed 11 workers and injured 17 more. It also caused deep environmental and economic harm to U.S. Gulf Coast states for years.
Deepwater Horizon’s economic impact
At the peak of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, fishing wasn’t allowed in one-third of federal waters. President Barack Obama issued a six-month moratorium on offshore drilling. That move left 8,000-10,000 workers unemployed.
In addition, the area’s tourism industry took a major hit. Tourists didn’t want to visit contaminated beaches. Louisiana lost about $32 million in tourism revenue. In the end, it’s estimated that $700 million in industry revenue was lost because of the spill.
Many smaller businesses faced steep profit losses. They brought negligence lawsuits against BP, which leased the rig, and Transocean Ltd., who owned the rig and whose workers manned the rig. Ultimately, design flaws in the rig, cost-cutting measures and worker errors led to the oil spill.
Compensation for affected businesses
Gaar Law Firm was one firm that helped Gulf Coast businesses reclaim money for their losses through business litigation. Ultimately, we helped clients recover millions of dollars because of the oil spill. Those who received compensation included
· commercial fishing operations
· Gulf Coast hotels and vacation properties
· other tourist-based businesses (such as those that sell souvenirs, boat tours and more)
Some of those businesses that declared bankruptcy or liquated their assets because of how the oil spill affected their operations also received settlements.
Business litigation often doesn’t center on how a business’ mistakes while operating impacted other businesses. Businesses sue other companies over other issues, such as
· contract disputes
· improper intellectual property use
· direct fraud
However, the Deepwater Horizon accident impacted Gulf area business on a broad scale, leading to millions lost because of BP’s and Transocean’s negligence. So, it’s always important to remember that those facing business profits lost because of negligence have the option to recoup those losses through business litigation.