Mexican Gulf States File Lawsuits In US Over BP’s Gulf Oil Disaster
September 29, 2010: Guillermo Contreras / My San Antonio.com – September 29, 2010
Three Mexican states have filed lawsuits in San Antonio against BP Plc., Transocean, Halliburton and associated companies over the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, alleging the oil plume has made it into international waters and will have an adverse impact on the economy and environment. The lawsuits were filed by the following Mexican gulf states of Tamaulipas (which borders Texas), Veracruz and Quintana Roo, which is home to the tourist-beach centers of Cancún, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen, and the first by a foreign government in a U.S. federal court over the BP oil disaster, according to Enrique Serna, a lawyer in San Antonio, Texas for the Mexican states.
BP faces more than 1,000 lawsuits in state and federal courts in connection with the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history. The claims include economic loss, environmental damage and personal injuries and deaths. Most of the federal suits, including the ones filed by Serna, are being consolidated in New Orleans for pretrial procedural and evidentiary issues, though the suits may later head back to the originating courts for trial.
On Monday, a suit filed against the companies in state district court by a San Antonio distributor, Groomer Seafood Inc., was moved to San Antonio’s federal court and also will be headed to New Orleans for pretrial matters. The Mexican states claim the financial damages from the spill, set off by the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April, are expected to grow. They allege negligence on the part of BP, Transocean and Halliburton is responsible for the explosion and subsequent spill.
Serna’s co-counsel, Daniel Serna, said the states had no choice but to sue because the $20 billion compensation fund set up by BP doesn’t include foreign entities. Spokesmen for BP and Transocean said the companies don’t comment on pending litigation. “However, the multidistrict litigation court currently is working with involved parties to develop common procedures for the efficient and fair hearing of all cases,” Transocean said by e-mail. “We support the MDL court in its effort and are confident that Transocean’s position on all issues will be clearly heard as we move through this process.”
“The allegations in these lawsuits appear to be without merit and we will vigorously contest each in court,” said Teresa Wong, a spokeswoman for Halliburton. Enrique Serna said that, as cold fronts move into the area, the underwater plume of oil will further foul Mexico’s fishing waters in the gulf and possibly its shores.
The suits were filed in San Antonio in part, because the Alamo City, is considered a “very international, friendly city for the Mexican nationals to come over and feel comfortable in the legal environment,” Enrique Serna said. The suits seek unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
Gulf Oil Catastrophe
The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: No amount of money in civil court will ever be enough to compensate for this crime against humanity and the consequent environmental disaster it has unleashed for decades to come. Criminal charges must be pursued with convictions and sentences carried out to the fullest degree! – SJH
Link to original article below…
Written by Steven John Hibbs
September 29, 2010 at 10:07 pm
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