Legal Experts Say Gulf Oil Spill Lawsuits Could be in Excess of a Billion Dollars

Ft. Lauderdale, FL  — Attorneys from the well known Whistleblower law firm of Freedland Russo based in Weston, Florida predicted today that the lawsuits filed as a result of the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could easily exceed a billion dollars. “It seems the only thing that will spread faster than the oil slick in this tragedy will be the lawsuits resulting from it,” said Anthony Russo, a partner in the firm. Workers at this moment are still trying to contain the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that was caused by the explosion of a British Petroleum (BP) oil rig. More than two dozen suits have already been filed and legal experts expect hundreds more in the coming weeks. Total claims exceed the amount of damage claims awarded in the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989.

But, according to Partner Michael Freedland, “those seeking to file suit should proceed carefully as any missteps could negatively impact their potential case.”

Already, more than 24 lawsuits* have been filed against BP, in courthouses from Texas to Florida, on behalf of coastal property owners, family members of workers killed onboard the oil rig, environmental groups, commercial fishermen and charter boat operators. Even the State of Florida is considering legal action.

And, as the oil makes its way onshore, the list of litigants is expected to grow dramatically, with some predicting the eventual number could be in the hundreds of thousands.

Firm attorney, Daniel Harwin says the greater the number of plaintiffs, the more complex the legal maneuvering becomes. “You are already seeing websites popping up all over the Internet from law firms encouraging people with property damage or loss of income claims to contact them.”

Commercial fishing and seafood interests are among the first to file suit, many combined into class action suits in multiple Gulf States. You can expect a number of these suits to be consolidated and centralized as a part of a multi-district litigation for pre-trial proceedings, says Freedland. It is also anticipated that a substantial number of property owners will have meritorious claims as result of property damage suffered from the oil spill.

BP has already promised to provide block grants of $25 million to five Gulf States, including Florida.

Plaintiffs in the Exxon Valdez case were initially awarded more than $5 Billion in punitive damages that were cut in half on appeal. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court reduced the award to $507 million. *

According to one Texas lawyer, “this litigation will dwarf all previous corporate catastrophes.”

About Freedland Russo: 
Freedland Russo is a law firm committed to assisting and fighting for consumers in the United States who have suffered social injustices at the hands of individuals, large corporations, and insurance companies. The firm lawyers are renowned for handling complex cases involving matters of medical malpractice, pharmaceutical liability, automobile liability, wrongful death, and whistleblower cases. Freedland Russo is based in Weston, Florida. For more information log on to or call 888.254.7066.


Updated 05-06-2010

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