Our New Orleans readers may remember the British Petroleum oil spill of 2010 as one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history. Although it’s been nearly three years since the spill, the incident is still the subject of courtroom action. Recently, claimants who experienced damage to their seafood businesses in the disaster filed a motion with a federal court to extend the deadline to join a class action suit stemming from the accident. However, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier was not in favor of extending the deadline for commercial fishing operations for this maritime disaster. Barbier contends that claimants were given sufficient notice in which to join the lawsuit before the deadline.

February 25, 2013, will mark the start of a trial to determine how much BP will have to pay to settle this class action lawsuit. The seafood settlement is just part of a larger settlement involving medical, economic and property claims that stemmed from the oil spill, which killed 11 rig workers. The settlement is expected to resolve over 100,000 claims and could result in BP paying almost $8 billion in damages to claimants.

The BP disaster has grabbed the headlines since it occurred, but maritime accidents can also happen on a smaller scale. Large or small, accidents involving backup rigs, drill ships and barges can forever change the lives of those involved. Ship owners and companies must provide certain medical assistance to injured seamen and offshore workers until they are able to work again. But without the help of an attorney, it can be difficult for a victim to recover the compensation for injuries to which they are entitled by law.

Workers who have been injured either physically or economically in an admiralty or maritime accident should seek the counsel of attorneys who have experience handling these types of cases. Knowledgeable and resourceful lawyers can make sure victims are compensated for injuries they suffered through no fault of their own.

Source: The Times-Picayune, “Federal judge rejects motion to extend deadline for BP oil spill seafood settlement,” Richard Thompson, Jan. 24, 2013