A Destin, Florida woman has filed a lawsuit against BP, Halliburton and Transocean, among others alleging that her vacation rental business is ruined and will cost her thousands of dollars. Vickie Nobles’ lawsuit is a class-action. That means she will head the class on behalf of other who are similarly situated, meaning they likely own beachfront property. According to The Florida Independent, among her claims are gross negligence, trespass, products liability, and liability for an abnormally dangerous activity. The Gulf oil spill, she contends, violates the state’s Pollutant Discharge Prevention and Control Act, which requires the plaintiff to prove that pollution did occur. That will not be tough.
Also named in the action is the maker of the Deepwater Horizon blowout preventer. That was supposed to be the backup but it failed and allowed the discharge of thousands of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Adding to the complaint Nobles says that BP has not done enough to stop the oil from fouling Florida’s beaches and the booms that BP has erected are ineffective. That’s because anything higher than a three-foot wave can clear the boom taking the oil slick with it. Just this past month, the Gulf has had seven to 10 foot-swells, her complaint says.
How many barrels of oil are leaking due to the Gulf oil spill? Nobles says that nobody knows, but that BP’s representation is misleading the public by underestimating the damage. At the same time, the company is operating its Atlantis rig in the Gulf and Nobles says it is doing so negligently “with incomplete and inaccurate engineering documents, which one official warned could lead to ‘catastrophic operator error.”
So far the restaurant and lodging industry estimates that reservation and occupancy are down 30% since the April 20th spill from the explosion of BP’s Deepwater oil rig.