Friday, May 17, 2013
Texas Files Suit Against BP for Damages Caused By 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil SpillAUSTIN – The State of Texas today filed a lawsuit against BP America and other defendants for their role in the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon offshore oil spill. The State’s enforcement action seeks natural resource damages, economic damages and civil penalties caused by the oil spill.
Today’s filing follows years of work with Texas’s sister Gulf states and the federal government, as well as BP, to resolve damages associated with harm caused to the Gulf. Because the parties to date have been unable to fully resolve claims related to the disaster, the State filed today’s enforcement action to preserve the State’s claims against BP and other defendants. The State expects its case to be consolidated with the case already underway in New Orleans.
The lawsuit, which was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Beaumont, seeks both monetary damages and funds to be used for projects to mitigate and offset natural resource damages in Texas. Specifically, Texas is seeking civil penalties for every day of oil discharge and for every barrel of oil that was discharged; lost sales tax, state hotel occupancy tax and mixed beverage tax revenue; revenue lost from state park entrance, facility, activity and concession fees; and damages to natural resources, including wildlife and coastal ecosystems and habitats caused by the released oil and chemical dispersants. The State also seeks attorneys’ fees, court costs and investigative costs.
Today’s action was filed by the Attorney General’s Office on behalf of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Texas General Land Office and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Defendants include BP, Transocean, Halliburton and Anadarko, among others.
Today’s action follows partial settlements by BP and Transocean of federal claims, including criminal plea agreements.