Friday, May 28, 2010

Transocean Can’t Cap Spill Liability Using Old Law, Lawyers Say

The below article is interesting. Transocean the owner of the rig is attempting to limit its liability to the value of the Deepwater Horizon after it sank to the bottom of the Gulf. The lawyers for the claimants are arguing that all the Transocean rigs are working as a "floatilla" and thus Transocean would have to post a bond for the value of 138 rigs or 23 Billion dollars. That could get very expensive for Transocean.

May 26 (Bloomberg) -- Transocean Ltd. can’t use a 150-year- old statute to cap its liability against claims arising from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, lawyers for victims of the disaster said at a hearing in federal court in Houston. The Oil Pollution Act of 1990, passed after the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, supersedes the older law in this situation, attorneys for the Louisiana Environmental Action Network and the United Commercial Fisherman’s Association said in court papers, citing earlier decisions. Even under the old law, the negligence of BP and Transocean would make it inapplicable, plaintiffs’ lawyer Kurt Arnold told U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Oil Spill Rate / Counter

This is a PBS counter that gives you the range of oil that is leaking into the Gulf of Mexico. If you move the counter you can adjust the spill rate based upon what BP and the Government say or what the worse case senario is. In any case it is VERY BAD.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Gulf oil spill could reach Florida Keys by Sunday

By Associated Press / May 18, 2010 Tampa, Florida University scientists are forecasting that oil from the spill off Louisiana could reach Florida's Key West by Sunday. University of South Florida researchers said Tuesday the southern arm of the massive spill has entered or is near the so-called loop current, which circulates in the Gulf and takes water south to the Florida Keys and the Gulf Stream. The Gulf Stream could eventually take the oil up Florida's Atlantic coast. Twenty tar balls were found by the Coast Guard off Key West on Monday. They are being tested by the Coast Guard to see if they came from the Louisiana spill or elsewhere. Tar balls can occur naturally or come from other sources such as ships. USF scientists use currents, wind forecasts and other elements to make their predictions.

Jacksonville brothers, friend clung to cooler for three days in ocean before rescue

Two Jacksonville brothers and a friend who are the lucky survivors of spending three days at sea clinging to a cooler after their boat flipped during a fishing trip off Mayport Sunday expect to be in the arms of their families later tonight, the U.S. Coast Guard said this afternoon. "Anytime you have a search and rescue case like this, luck is going to play a factor if they're going to come home," said Michael Hulme, a Coast Guard spokesman said. "We're extremely excited the three individuals will be able to go home tonight with their families."

Monday, May 17, 2010

3 Boaters Missing Off Mayport - Jacksonville Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for three boaters who left Mayport Sunday morning and did not return by the end of the day. Authorities said John J. Navaraz, 32, Elijs Navaraz, 31, and Rebecca Sullivan, 28, did not return as scheduled on Sunday night. The truck that the group used to launch their 20-foot pleasure craft named Problem Child remained at the boat ramp in Mayport.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Deepwater Horizon owner Transocean seeks liability limit

Transocean, owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded and sank last month killing 11 and creating a growing oil spill, today got a Houston judge to stay pending cases against the company. U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison today issued an order suspending cases against Transocean because the company filed a request to limit its liability in the lawsuits filed against it to $26.7 million. Lawyers involved in the myriad of lawsuits filed against Transocean, rig leaser BP and others said they expected Transocean would take advantage of the Limitation of Liability Act, a maritime law that allows a vessel owner to limit liability to the value of the vessel and its freight. The law dates back to the mid 1800s when it was passed to protect U.S. vessel owners, eliminating some risk in crisis situations and aiding competition with foreign ships. Guy Cantwell, a spokesman for Transocean, said the company filed this request on instruction from its insurers and to preserve its insurance.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Onalaska men injured in Florida boating accident

Two Onalaska men and one other person are seriously injured in a weekend boating accident in Florida. 35-year-old Jason Baldner of Onalaska and 36-year-old Jason Williams, an Onalaska native currently living in Cape Coral, Florida, were aboard a 37-foot boat when it slammed into a seawall at a high rate of speed, went airborne and landed in a vacant lot. Baldner, Williams and another man, 31-year-old Eric Terpsma of Cape Coral, were taken to the hospital. Baldner's dad says his son is in a coma. A Florida hospital says Williams and the third man are both in serious condition. Television station WINK in Fort Myers says authorities suspect alcohol to be a factor in the accident, but the accident is still being investigated. Friends say Baldner and Williams are avid boaters. Both men were also past members of the River City Water Ski Team.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Dozens hurt in NYC ferry crash

NEW YORK - A Staten Island ferry boat with a history of accidents struck a pier as it approached a terminal Saturday, seriously hurting at least one person and leaving as many as 35 with minor injuries. The Andrew J. Barberi hit the pier at around 9:20 a.m. as it approached the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island. The city's transportation commissioner said the ferry's throttle failed to engage as it came in for a landing. That meant the crew was unable to use the engines to slow the vessel.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Over Gulf Oil Rig Explosion, Fire

HOUSTON, May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorneys with the Houston trial law firm Arnold & Itkin LLP today filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the family of Aaron Dale Burkeen, one of 11 men still missing after the recent oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. A resident of Philadelphia, Miss., Mr. Burkeen worked as a crane operator on the Deepwater Horizon, a massive oil rig owned by Swiss-based Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG) and operated by UK-based BP PLC (NYSE: BP). On April 20, Mr. Burkeen was operating the crane on deck before the first explosion rocked the rig. His responsibilities included getting other crew members to safety. He is believed to have been tragically killed in the second blast. The family of Mr. Burkeen, including his wife and two children, are represented by Houston maritime attorneys Kurt Arnold and Jason Itkin of Arnold & Itkin, along with Mississippi attorney Jay M. Kilpatrick, a shareholder in Young Williams P.A. According to the attorneys, the Deepwater Horizon was unseaworthy, and the defendants were negligent in failing to properly maintain the rig and failing to meet federal safety standards.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Owner of sunken oil rig defends Transocean's safety record

The chief executive of Transocean Ltd., whose drilling rig exploded last month in the Gulf of Mexico and triggered the largest oil spill in North American history, on Thursday defended the company's safety policies. Steven Newman, Transocean's president and chief executive, told industry analysts during a conference call on the company's quarterly earnings that it would be "premature'' and "inappropriate'' to speculate on what caused the April 20 blast that sank the $600 million rig and left 11 crew members missing and presumed dead. Read more:

Panel probing oil rig explosion to start work

ROBERT, La. — A board investigating a deadly oil rig explosion that caused a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will begin its work next week. The six-member panel is split between representatives of the U.S. Coast Guard and the Minerals Management Service. MMS spokesman John Callahan said a more detailed schedule will be released Friday. The board is tasked with investigating the cause of an April 20 explosion that killed 11 workers at an oil rig operated by BP PLC. BP is still trying to stop the leak spewing more than 200,000 gallons of oil a day. Authorities earlier said the investigative board will hear testimony from survivors of the explosion and technical experts. Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Monday, May 03, 2010

'Daunting' oil spill threatens Florida - Florida Oil Spill Damage Lawyers

With an oil slick and tar balls just 50 miles offshore, Florida's top environmental official and other politicians say the state is bracing for pollution and damage to hit the state's beaches and its oyster, bait and sport fisheries. "It is an enormous mess. It is unbelievable -- the magnitude of this thing. Clearly every effort needs to be put on plugging the hole up and stopping the bleeding,'' Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said. Crist on Monday extended a state of emergency from the western Panhandle around the Big Bend as far south as Sarasota. The coastal counties added Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson, Taylor, Dixie, Levy, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota due to the Deepwater Horizon Incident. Read more:

Lawyers flock to Gulf Coast for oil spill lawsuits

MIAMI — Teams of lawyers from around the nation are mobilizing for a gargantuan legal battle over the massive Gulf Coast oil spill, filing multiple lawsuits in recent days that together could dwarf the half-billion dollars awarded in the Exxon Valdez disaster two decades ago. If the oil slick fouls popular beaches, ruins fisheries and disrupts traffic on the Mississippi River, attorneys say there could be hundreds of thousands of plaintiffs from Texas to Florida seeking monetary damages from oil producer BP PLC and other companies that ran the Transocean Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. At least 26 federal lawsuits have been filed since the spill by commercial fishermen, charter boat captains, resort management companies and individual property owners in Louisiana, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. Many of the suits claim the disaster was caused when workers for oil services contractor Halliburton Inc. improperly capped a well — a process known as cementing. Halliburton denied that. Investigators are still looking into the cause.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Woman injured after boat accident at Disney

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- A woman was injured in a boating accident at Walt Disney World after her boat went under a Disney ferry. According to an Orange County Sheriff's report, 61-year-old Barbara Wormald was treated for a collapsed lung, fractured ribs and back pain after becoming wedged between the vessels. The report says Wormald and her husband rented a two seater boat Thursday near the Treehouse Villas. Ferry boat captain William Green said he saw the boat driving recklessly and put the ferry in reverse upon impact. Michael Wormald said he saw the ferry in the distance and thought it would move. As it approached, he turned quickly to avoid a crash, but the ferry ran onto the boat's passenger side and over his wife. Charges are pending against Wormald. Disney declined comment. Read more: