On the three-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill Saturday, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi will file a lawsuit against BP. The state’s lawsuit, to be filed in Panama City, will name defendants BP and Halliburton. This comes ahead of the three-year statute of limitations under the Oil Pollution Act, ensuring the state can recover economic losses resulting from the oil spill.
“The State of Florida suffered considerable economic losses as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and BP and Halliburton must be held accountable,” Bondi said in a statement from her office.
The lawsuit includes numerous federal, state and maritime counts, according to the statement:
Under the Oil Pollution Act, the State of Florida is entitled to the revenues it lost due to the oil spill, including sales and use taxes; corporate taxes; documentary stamp taxes; cigarette surcharges; cigarette excise taxes; beer, wine, and liquor taxes; fuel taxes; rental car surcharges; and utility taxes and receipts. The State is also seeking punitive damages under maritime and Florida common law due to the egregious nature of the misconduct that led to this environmental and economic disaster.
This lawsuit involves only the economic losses suffered by the State of Florida. As the impact of the oil spill on Florida’s natural resources and the environment continue to be assessed, the lawsuit does not include those claims. Likewise, the State’s lawsuit does not include any economic loss claims on behalf of individuals, businesses or local governmental entities.
Gov. Rick Scott offered a statement on the pending litigation.
“Many Florida communities were impacted by the BP oil spill that began with a tragic explosion in the Gulf three years ago Saturday,” Scott said. “The new lawsuit our state will file against BP and Halliburton gives us the ability to continue to fight to hold these companies accountable for the economic losses both our state and communities sustained when beaches were closed and many of our businesses lost income as a result of the spill. We will continue to hold these companies accountable, as we ensure that our Florida communities and businesses are treated fairly in the wake of this disaster.”
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