Round-up: Lousiana Disaster Lawsuits

A few months ago, the Cardone Law blog covered additional settlement funds available to businesses affected by the BP oil spill. Recently there has been significant litigation and settlements revolving around Louisiana’s recent disasters.

A lawsuit has been filed by the Mexican government against BP Oil for damages arising from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. BP disclosed on May 1 that the firm has been named as a defendant in over 2,200 suits filed by Mexico since March 6.

Originally, the first quarter results only list a suit by a foreign government but a BP press officer later confirmed the government was, in fact, Mexico. Many of the claims fall under the US Oil Pollution Act 1990 which expire after a 3 year statute of limitations.

Florida and Texas both have filed their claims for costs associated with the spill. Both states, suing for past, present, and future damages are also seeking penalties. The Attorney General office of Texas has expressed expectations that the Texas suit may be joined with other state suits. BP was not singled out and other parties include Halliburton, Anadarko, and Transocean.

One major point of revenue loss for the states being contended by Texas is hotel occupany tax. This basic and obvious damage is in addition to lost revenue from the state park affected and other costs to be calculated. A spokesman for the attorney general’s office said there is no current estimate for how much is sought and, aside from seafood claims, there is no maximum cap on damages BP can pay in settlements.

Pam Bondi, Florida Attorney General, has said that Florida is seeking a $5.4 billion dollar settlement from damages arising from the spill.

The Ugly Aftermath of Katrina
A recent settlement was reached in a lawsuit against St. Bernard Parish for its unlawful efforts to limit the amount of rental properties leased to African-Americans under the guise of “recovery planning”. The eight plaintiffs bringing the suit would each receive $275,000 for the discriminatory acts of the parish. Before the hurricane struck in 2005, the suburban area housed a population that was approximately 10% African American. The parish had previously settled several other suits based on its racial discrimination and unlawful limitation on construction and property ownership.

In another astonishing incident committed in the wake of the hurricane, nearly 500 workers were allegedly trafficked to Texas by Signal International LLC to assist in clean-up. The lawsuit was filed by 33 Indian guest workers claiming the firm lured workers in with promises of permanent U.S. residency, charged the workers exorbitant fees (up to $25,000), and forced them to work in “labor camps” in the Pascagoula Texas area. The workers were coerced into staying and working hazardous, even dangerous, jobs. The firm charged the workers over $1,000 rent to stay in the labor camp facilities with 12 men to 1 toilet.

The Louisiana attorneys at Cardone Law are available to those who have suffered in the wake of Louisiana disasters. If you or someone you know has had a drop in gross profits from 2010 to 2011, you may qualify for compensation from the BP settlement fund. Our attorneys are dedicated to zealous advocacy for our clients and have exceptional experience handling insurance claims, damage calculation, evidence discovery, legal documents and filing, settlement negotiation and litigation.

If you would like to find out if you are eligible for an award, call Cardone Law and speak with Cliff Cardone. Those in and around the New Orleans area can contact Cardone Law for a free consultation at 504-522-3333 or online.

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