On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig exploded and caught fire in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 50 miles from Louisiana’s coastal wetlands. Tragically, 11 oil rig workers were killed and 17 others were injured as a result. Two days later, as the rig continued to burn, it sank in the Gulf of Mexico causing the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history and a massive environmental disaster that has affected the entire Gulf Coast region.
In October 2010, Paul M. Sterbcow, partner with Lewis, Kullman, Sterbcow & Abramson, LLC, was one of 15 attorneys appointed by United States District Judge Carl J. Barbier to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) in the multi-district litigation (MDL) related to the BP Oil Spill in New Orleans.
The PSC has been responsible for and has worked tirelessly to oversee the entire litigation process on behalf of all plaintiffs in the MDL proceeding. Mr. Sterbcow was a lead PSC trial attorney responsible for preparation and trial of the case against BP, Transocean, Halliburton, and others. The case was tried in federal court in New Orleans from February 25, 2013, to April 17, 2013.
On March 3, 2012, the eve of the first trial, a settlement in principle was reached with BP. The settlement compensates individuals and businesses that suffered economic loss and property damage as a result of the oil spill, and the settlement also provides medical benefits to individuals who suffered acute or chronic illnesses from exposure to oil and chemical dispersants in the weeks and months after the oil spill.
On December 21, 2012, Judge Carl Barbier granted final approval of the Economic and Property Damages Class Action Settlement that was reached between BP and the PSC. Barbier Order on Economic Settlement. On January 11, 2013, Judge Barbier granted final approval of the Medical Benefits Class Action Settlement. Barbier Order Medical Settlement
Since that time, BP has repeatedly gone back to Judge Barbier and the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to challenge the very agreement that they negotiated and enthusiastically endorsed. This effort continues.
Paul M. Sterbcow currently represents approximately 700 commercial divers as well as commercial fishermen, crabbers, oystermen, deckhands, property owners, small and large business owners and oil and gas industry entities, who sustained damages as a result of the Deepwater Horizon incident. He is working with his colleagues to force BP to honor the agreement and pay all good faith claims that satisfy the objective compensation formula in the agreement.
If you or your business were harmed as a result of the BP Oil Spill and would like to speak with one of our BP Claims Attorneys, please Contact Lewis, Kullman, Sterbcow & Abramson, LLC today for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your potential BP claim at (504) 588-1500.