BP and Transocean Could Escape Sufficient Liabilty

BP's liability diminished by current laws of the high seasTransocean product liability costs in questionGordon Jones, a 28 year old engineer, was killed in the blast on the Transocean rig, Deepwater Horizon, that caused the horrendous BP oil-spill . Jones left behind a widow, a toddler, and an infant.

Who Will Pay for Deadly Defects?

Unfortunately, laws that are currently in place could prove very detrimental to recovery attempts made by Jones’ family, as well as other injured victims on the rig. The Death on the High Seas Act
(DOHSA), one of the reasons payouts may be insufficient, was ammended in 2000 to help victims of TWA flight 800, but those protections were not also applied to those killed on vessels like the Deepwater Horizon. BP’s liability is, at this time, very limited, because of the DOHSA. Also limiting the liability of BP and Transocean are the Oil Pollution Act (OPA), and the Limitation of Liability Act (LOLA).

The OPA caps BP’s liability at 75 million dollars. That amount won’t even scrape the surface of the cost to Gulf Coast homeowners and businessowners. Transocean is using LOLA to limit their liability costs to just 27 million, as LOLA allows them to claim only responsibility for their destroyed rig. The law was passed in 1851 to protect owners who did not have control of their own vessels, but seems irrelevant today, when insurance and communication are no longer a problem.

President of the American Association for Justice, Anthony Tarricone, had this to say about the situation surrounding BP and Transocean’s liability:“Unless these laws are amended, BP can look forward to significant immunity, while the families of the workers killed and injured by the original explosion, as well as shrimpers, oystermen, fishermen, hotels, and restaurants, will face an uphill battle for justice.”

Has a Defective Product Affected You?

We here at the Mininno Law Office are grealty troubled by the effects of the oil spill on the gulf coast, it’s wildlife, and the surrounding homes, and places of business. That is why we firmly believe that BP and Transocean should not be able to make it out of this without compsenating correctly those who have been affected. If you have been affected by any sort of defective product, the attorneys at the Mininno Law Office are here to help. Manufacturers must always be held liable for their products. Contact us for a free case evaluation, or call us at 856-833-0600 in New Jersey, or 215-567-2380 in Philadelphia.

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