If you get in a Gulf Coast drilling accident and want to sue the hell out of Transocean, Tony Buzbee is your go-to guy.
The Texas lawyer brags of the following on his website:
- Recovered $15 million from Transocean on behalf of a group of offshore drilling workers.
- Obtained a a $6.2 million verdict against Halliburton, and others, for the death of an offshore worker.
- Obtained a $100 million punitive damages verdict against BP, for a group of refinery workers.
- Represented Spain’s Basque government to bring claims against a U.S. classification society, related to the sinking of the Prestige oil tanker and resulting catastrophic oil spill in the Bay of Biscayne. This was the largest oil spill in Spain’s history. A portion of the case settled for $70 million.
Sure enough Buzbee is on tap to represent at least nine Deepwater survivors and over 100 oystermen, fishermen, and seafood packers, according to Guardian. You can read the individual suits and a very pessimistic account of the disaster on his website:
Transocean and BP chose to continue displacing the mud, as if the cement job had been successful. This was a grave error. For cementing to be effective, the right mix must be used, and the cement must have time to harden. Naturally, the decision to displace the cement is ultimately made by the company–in this case, BP. Because BP was paying $500,000 daily to lease the rig, naturally there is incentive to rush the job. If the cement mix was inadequate, or if insufficient time was given for it to harden, Halliburton (the company that performed the cementing) and BP (the company for whom Transocean was working) will have major liability…
We also know that the BOP had been altered, but BP instructed and paid for the modifications. Because this safety device failed, the manufacturer (Cameron out of Houston, Texas) will likely have major liability, as will BP…
Under admiralty law, a vessel that sinks is presumed unseaworthy, meaning the rig operator is liable for the injuries caused. Obviously, Transocean faces major liability for the explosion and ultimate sinking of the Deepwater Horizon. Transocean will also face liability for the resulting oil spill.
Under federal law, BP is responsible for its own negligent decision made with regard to cementing, geologic information, and drilling, and, with regard to any pollution that occurs, is responsible regardless whether BP was negligent or not. In light of the human and environmental costs, BP will face major liability for the explosion. In light of BP’s history of problems both offshore and in the refinery context, BP’s conduct will be under the spotlight for some time to come…
Good luck BP, Transocean, et al.
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