An Update from Our Firm about COVID-19

Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner remains fully operational and committed to serving our clients and colleagues throughout the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. As we follow the CDC guidelines and practice social distancing, we remain available for phone consultations and scheduled in-person meetings with both current and prospective clients and colleagues. Please contact our office by email or by calling 713-222-7211 with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you.

BP Disaster - U.S. Interior Department Sued Over BP Oil Spill

Photo of Brant Stogner

According to the suit, with regards to the BP Deepwater Horizon exploration plan, the Minerals Management Service had issued notices to the oil companies that they did not have to comply with the blowout and worst-case oil spill rules. Additionally, the agency failed to analyze the potential environmental impact of a blowout and spill, as is required by federal law (National Environmental Policy Act).

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. According to David Guest, an attorney for the plaintiffs, "this case is about lax is actually easier to get a permit for an offshore oil well than for a hot dog stand." The suit seeks to invalidate the agency's practice of sending notices to oil companies informing them that they do not have to comply with the rules and to order review of existing offshore drilling plans that do not comply with existing rules. According to one of plaintiffs' other lawyers, Robert Wiygul, "the basic problem here is that the Minerals Management Service tried to change the law without telling anybody...that's bad policy, and the BP mess proves it is a disaster for the environment."

It is blatantly obvious that BP and the other major oil companies would prefer not to have to comply with federal regulations. It does not take any leaps of faith to understand that compliance costs the oil companies money, and BP is famous for its statements leading up to the 2005 Texas City explosion in which its executives bragged that they were "printing money." However, what I did not know was that the federal agency may have actually encouraged and promoted this type of behavior. The rules and regulations are only effective if they are enforced. It is shocking to learn that the federal agency may have given BP a "free pass" on compliance with safety and contingency measures. At this point, these are allegations only, as nothing has been proven. However, this particular lawsuit will be interesting to follow just to see if our own federal agency, which is charged with monitoring compliance with federal law, allowed BP to knowingly disregard federal law. If these allegations turn out to be true, this is not the fox guarding the hen house; but rather, is the bulldog letting the fox walk right in.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • $50+ Million Fire & Explosion

    The firm successfully represented nearly 100 victims who suffered personal injuries and damages to property from a large fire and explosion resulting in a settlement of more than $50 million. The firm served as lead lawyers on the steering committee in this litigation.

  • $80 Million Plant Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 270 plaintiffs, taking a lead role in the plaintiffs’ steering committee, who suffered injuries in a large plant explosion resulting in a settlement of nearly $80 million.

  • $50+ Million Plant Fire & Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 45 personal injury victims in a plant fire and explosion, serving on the plaintiffs steering committee, concluding with a settlement of more than $50 million.

  • $22+ Million Worksite Accident

    The firm prevailed in a personal injury trial for a worksite injury client with the jury returning a verdict and resulting in a judgment of over $22 million for the firm’s client.

  • $12 Million 18-Wheeler Collision

    The firm successfully achieved a $12 million settlement for the family of a man who died in an 18 wheeler collision.

  • $48 Million Catastrophic Burns

    The firm prevailed on behalf of three burn victims with settlements totaling nearly $48 million.

Our Record Of Success

When you are hurt and you choose a law firm to represent you in court or at the negotiation table, you need to carefully consider the firm's record.

Read More Success Stories

Let Us Help You Request a Free Consultation Today

Get Help Now

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Back to top