Legal Help for the Victims of the Oil Rig Explosion

When the Deep Horizon burned and sank last week, it left 11 dead and an open oil well on the ocean floor.  The oil slick is moving toward the Louisiana coast and is looking to be one of the biggest environmental disasters in history.  It has been reported that coastal communities in Alabama, Florida, and elsewhere may also be affected.

This disaster threatens wildlife and could potentially devastate thousands of our citizens who depend on shrimp, oyster and fish breeding to support themselves and their families.  Of course, most consumers nationwide will be affected eventually.  At first blush it appears that this is the result of negligence and corporate greed, coupled with a government turning a blind eye to how our Earth's resources are extracted.  BP and Transocean, Ltd., as the owners and/or operators of the rig, are two major conglomerates that are responsible for the damage that they have caused and that will stem from this incident in the future.  Criminal charges against them are now pending and BP and Transocean, Ltd. will have more than just some explaining to do. 

If you or someone you know has been harmed as a result of the oil spill, the lawyers at ARONFELD TRIAL LAWYERS can help you to understand your rights. We are ready to assist you in pursuing financial compensation for injuries, property damage, and other losses related to the oil spill.  You can count on ARONFELD TRIAL LAWYERS to ensure that your rights are respected. 

Oil Spill

  ■Crew Members

  ■Commercial Fisherman


  ■Charter Boat Operators

  ■Beach Front Property               Owners

This catastrophic oil spill will directly impact thousands of Gulf Coast residents.  Unfortunately, the Gulf coast residents will suffer millions of dollars in property damage and businesses that operate in and around the Gulf of Mexico will suffer colossal economic damages while their businesses  are forced to shut down temporarily or permanently. If you or loved one were injured, suffered property damage, lost their jobs or own a business that was adversely impacted by the oil spill, you may have valuable legal rights.

Legal Help for Oil Rig Explosion Victims

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On Sunday, U.S. District Court Judge Ginger Berrigan prevented oil giant BP from having local shrimpers and fisherman from signing releases that would protect BP from from liability in the cleanup efforts.

Desperate for money, these shrimpers, oyster harvesters are nervous about how to provide for their familes.  Sensing this deperating, BP wants to hire them as contractors to serve as clean up for the oil spill.

The contract also included confidentiality clauses to prvent the shrimpers from discussing what they find out at sea.

According to the proposed agreement with BP:
workers would not be able to sue for compensation in case of accident or injury
talk to reporters without BP approval
immediately pursue legal claims against BP even in an emergency
Add BP to their personally paid insurance policies for damages or injuries.

Judge Berrigan’s ruling voided all existing contracts and ordered the company to remove these provisions from any replacement and new contracts.  If you have a potential claim for any damages resulting from the BP oil spill, DO NOT sign anything without consulting an attorney first.  If you have a question or concern, contact Oil Spill Claims Attorney Spencer Aronfeld or call us toll-free: 866-597-4529.

The Impact of Oil Spill on individuals and businesses:

Oil spills affect all types of individuals and companies. People who live by a pipeline or the coast often sustain serious damage to their properties.  Fishermen whose income depends on healthy fish and clean water can be devastated when a spill occurs. The shipping industry can be seriously affected when harbors are closed for spill cleanup.  Unfortunately, farmers will also be affected and their crops contaminated.  Finally the tourism industry will suffer the effects the oil spill. 

The Oil Pollution Act (OPA):

The Oil Pollution Act (OPA) of 1990, was established in response the people’s trepidation following the Exxon Valdez incident. The OPA established provisions to improve the nation's ability to prevent and respond to oil spills.  This helped expand the federal government's ability, and provide the assistance, money and resources necessary to respond to oil spills. The OPA also created the national Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, which is available to provide up to one billion dollars per spill incident.
In addition, the OPA provided new requirements for the government and industry to follow in the event an oil spill incident occurs in the future.

Finally, the OPA increased penalties for regulatory noncompliance, broadened the response and enforcement authorities of the Federal government, and preserved State authority to establish law governing oil spill prevention and response.

Vietnamese, Cambodian fishermen among hardest hit by BP oil spill

Many Vietnamese and Cambodia fishermen are without work now because of the BP oil spill, and some still feel the effects of Hurricane Katrina. BP is trying to help, but there's a language barrier.

“When I read in the news about the contracts BP asked residents to sign before they went to work, I couldn’t stand by and let that happen,” said Mr. Aronfeld. “I felt obligated to help. I contacted BP myself and brought in the United Way and said we need to have a meeting and start feeding people.”

The contract Aronfeld referred to was a liability waiver local residents were asked to sign to enroll in safety and hazardous materials handling courses, required by BP for paid jobs containing and cleaning up the oil spill. The waiver caused much distrust and confusion in Plaquemines Parish. Many thought they would be signing away their rights to file claims over the spill, and the form was soon dropped. Read More

Local shrimper Can Van Nguyen sits as local Vietnamese and Cambodian fishermen try to get information at the China Sea Restaurant in Buras, Louisiana. Local translators came to the meeting to help with the language barrier.

Sean Gardner/Reuters

An Aricle by The Christian Science Monitor:
An Article by the New York Times :

It’s Raining Lawyers in the Gulf


A cavalcade of lawyers are homing in on what is shaping up as one of the worst environmental disasters in the nation's history. Read the entire story here: