BP Oil Spill

As news of the BP oil spill continues to worsen and the oil company’s efforts to stem the tide of the gushing oil prove fruitless, the federal government is stepping up its efforts to cap the leaking oil in the gulf. Meanwhile, environmental groups such as our own Tampa Bay Watch are preparing for the worst with their own clean-up programs. Tampa Bay Watch is training volunteers to protect Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve from the threat of the oil spill. According to the latest Tampa Bay Watch release, the oil spill may reach our shores in a few weeks and will most likely come ashore in the form of tar balls or putty consistency. The hazardous material will stick to everything including wildlife and birds.
Initial estimates of the oil spill leak were woefully underestimated. Now, it’s thought that roughly 200,000 gallons of BP oil are gushing into the Gulf of Mexico. Since previous attempts at capping the leak have failed, the environmental and economic dangers continue to increase with each passing day.

Congressional Inquiry Finds Equipment Defects In Oil Rig Explosion

A House of Representatives inquiry into the BP oil rig explosion has found that some of the equipment employed by British Petroleum had serious defects that should have been rectified. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) has announced that on the day of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, the well failed a key pressure test. Another member of Congress, Bart Stupak noted that there were “four significant problems” with the blowout preventer.
The news comes as federal officials in conjunction with BP employees are trying to stem the tide of the gushing oil spill that has yet to be contained and threatens Gulf of Mexico’s wildlife, fragile ecosystem and the economy. The oil spill threatens the livelihoods of fishermen, charter boat captains, tourism businesses, and restaurants all along the Gulf Coast. The economic effects of the oil spill are still unknown but could be devastating.

BP Oil Spill Timeline And Cleanup Law

When a British Petroleum oil rig caught fire in the deep waters of the Gulf Coast on April 20, 2010 there was no initial report of an oil spill. The Deepwater Horizon oil rig, owned by Transocean Ltd. and leased by BP, exploded killing 11 workers. At the time of the explosion the rig had been drilling 8,000 barrels of oil per day and had 700,000 gallons of diesel fuel on board. In spite of this, there was no initial concern of an oil spill. The rig sank to the bottom of the Gulf on April 22, 2010.
In spite of its initial report that no oil had leaked from the sunken rig, the Coast Guard reversed itself on April 24th and stated that an estimated 1,000 gallons of oil was leaking per day from the rig that was now submerged 5,000 feet below.
On April 26th, BP announces that it will be able to contain the oil spill and is working to increase its efforts at offshore oil recovery.
On April 27th, underwater robots are deployed to stop the flow of oil but are unable to do so. That same day, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) writes a letter to BP officials inquiring as to what they knew about the risks involved in the offshore drilling and what steps they had taken to respond to the disaster. In his letter, Waxman notes that BP appears to have no adequate plan to deal with the environmental disaster and that the methods they are planning to utilize had never been used in such deep water.
On April 28th, the US Coast Guard announces that the original estimate of oil spewing from the sunken rig was underestimated and that the more accurate number was 5,000 gallons of oil spilling from the rig each day.
On May 1st, the Coast Guard states that the oil spill will reach the US shoreline.
On May 2nd, President Obama visits the Gulf Shore and US officials announce the closure of areas for fishing for 10 days.
On May 5th, BP attempts to lower a domed container 5,000 feet below the Gulf surface to attempt to contain the gusher and funnel the spilled oil onto a nearby vessel.
President Obama has stated that the BP will be held responsible for the clean-up costs as well as the economic losses suffered by those industries affected by the oil spill. British Petroleum has stated that it will pay for all “legitimate” claims regarding the oil spill. The attorneys general from five Gulf Coast states have vowed to make the oil company clarify what BP considers “legitimate” claims.
As a result of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, a federal law was passed making oil companies responsible for such oil spill disasters up to $75 million. BP CEO told Congress on May 4, 2010 that the damage will exceed that $75 million cap. Democratic Senators are proposing new legislation to increase that cap to $1 billion in hopes that such new legislation will be retroactive and enforceable in this new oil spill disaster.

BP Oil Spill Could Hit Florida Shores

A physical oceanographer from the University of South Florida told a conference call that the BP oil spill may end up on the Florida shoreline if the spill connects with a Loop Current that sweeps around the Gulf of Mexico. If that occurs, the oil spill would be drawn south along Florida’s west coast shoreline and through the Florida Straits separating Florida and Cuba.
Robert Weisberg, the USF oceanographer, stated that the migration appears likely. The question remains how soon that will occur. “Once it’s at the entrance to the Florida Straits it’s only another week or so before it could be in the vicinity of Miami or Palm Beach and one more week or so until it could be as far north as Cape Hatteras,” Weisberg said.
However, speculation depends a great deal on the prevailing winds. No one is certain where the spill will end up coming ashore.

BP Oil Spill Update

As the public grows increasingly alarmed at the environmental dangers posed by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, British Petroleum officials are preparing to try a procedure that’s never been performed. BP will attempt dropping a 98 ton steel container over the oil spill in order to funnel the oil to a ship, the Deepwater Enterprise. BP officials concede the operation may not work since its never been attempted in deep water. The container and dome are to be placed over the well’s leaking riser pipe 1,500 meters underwater, capturing a mixture of oil and water that will be separated once funneled onto the ship.
In the meantime, the oil from the BP spill continues to migrate toward Gulf coast communities in Mississippi, Louisiana, and the Panhandle of Florida.
Yesterday, BP CEO Tony Hayward informed US Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) that the economic impact would clearly top the $75 million cap imposed on oil companies after the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill.
Attorneys General from 5 Gulf Coast states are drafting a letter to BP officials demanding clarification concerning company statements that it will pay for “legitimate” claims. As the environmental disaster continues, Gulf Coast fishermen are preparing for the worst. Many will suffer a devastating economic loss due to the oil spill.

BP Class Action Lawsuit

British Petroleum (BP) will surely face a class action lawsuit as a result of the behavior in the Gulf of Mexico. Besides their responsibility for the Gulf cleanup, they’ll also be held accountable for the economic loss and devastation their negligence has caused in the recent oil spill.
After the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989 a federal law was passed to make the oil company responsible for the spill and the costs associated with it. This law will govern BP’s liability and responsibility for the cleanup as well as compensating fishermen and others whose livelihoods have been threatened by the BP oil spill. The 1989 law set a $75 million cap on damages but the BP spill will likely exceed that amount. In response to the Gulf spill, several Democratic senators have introduced legislation that would raise that cap to $10 billion. It’s not clear whether such legislation, if signed into law, would be retroactive to cover this BP oil spill in the Gulf.

BP Liable for Clean-up and Other Damage

British Petroleum aka BP will have to pay for the massive clean-up after one of its oil drilling rigs exploded last week. The resulting environmental disaster has yet to be contained. The ensuing economic disaster for Gulf Coast businesses stretching from Mississippi to Florida is yet to be determined. However, as a a law firm with demonstrated expertise and experience in environmental litigation, we’re taking cases concerning those who’ve been affected by the BP oil spill. BP, one of the largest oil companies in the world, makes huge profits and needs to be held accountable for its negligence in the Gulf of Mexico. Large companies, including oil companies, need to be responsible members of the community.

Seroquel False Marketing Probe Ends in $520 Million Fine

AstraZeneca, the maker of Seroquel, has agreed to pay the federal government $520 million in fines for illegally marketing its drug. Federal prosecutors had been investigating the drug company for promoting Seroquel for so-call off label uses for which the drug was not approved by the FDA. Seroquel has been approved to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression.
AstraZeneca is one of a series of drug companies fined for promoting their drugs, especially anti-psychotic drugs for off label uses. According to the Wall St. Journal, “Last year, Eli Lilly agreed to pay more than $1.4 billion and pleaded guilty to a criminal charge, admitting that it promoted the antipsychotic Zyprexa for off-label uses, including to treat dementia in the elderly.
Pfizer Inc. agreed to pay $2.3 billion and plead guilty to a criminal charge last year to settle a government probe of its marketing practices. The civil portion of that pact included a government allegation that Pfizer promoted the antipsychotic Geodon off-label, though Pfizer denied that allegation.”
In spite of the settlement, AstraZeneca still faces thousands of product liability lawsuits that allege Seroquel use has caused diabetes and that the drug maker failed to properly warn healthcare professionals and consumers of the drug’s potential serious health risks.

Chinese Drywall Deposition Revelations

An October 2009 deposition taken in the Chinese drywall class action lawsuits consolidated in New Orleans reveals how and why US builders decided to import the tainted drywall from China. During the housing boom of 2004, builders were desperate for drywall. According to Salomon Homsany Abadi, a businessman who ran North Miami, Florida, importing company La Suprema Enterprise, the only place to find drywall was China. When Abadi decided to import the drywall, he wasn’t aware of the drywall problem. However, in his October deposition, Abadi asserts that the German owners of Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin knew about the foul odor and corrosion issues surrounding the Chinese drywall as early as 2006.
Abadi first learned of problems with the Chinese drywall in late 2006 when Mickey Banner of Banner Supplies contacted him to complain about the foul odor emanating from the drywall he’d used to build a house. Abadi then contacted Knauf who denied there was any problem with the drywall.

Hyperthyroid Drug Gets Black Box Warning

The FDA has issued a black box warning for a drug used to treat overactive thyroid or hyperthyroid disease. The FDA has received 34 cases of severe liver injury associated with the drug propylthiouracil. Of those cases of reported liver injury, 13 deaths and 5 liver transplants have been reported. The boxed warning includes a notice to physicians that propylthiouracil is not to be used to treat pediatric patients, except in the extreme instance where no other therapy is appropriate.
Propylthiouracil is a thioamide drug used to treat thyroid issues including Graves disease. The FDA first approved its use in 1947.