BP has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed in 2012 by the City of Apalachicola to recover economic losses suffered as a result of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, now known as the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history.
The spill began when the offshore drilling rig owned by Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20, 2010, killing 11 workers and spewing oil from the ruptured well along the Gulf of Mexico for 87 straight days.
The oil from the gushing well not only wrecked environmental havoc along the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the State of Florida, but the relentless nationwide news coverage of the event also caused consumers to swear off Gulf landed seafood out of fear of contamination and drove thousands of vacationers away from the Gulf Coast region.
The Florida Panhandle, which include the City of Apalachicola, was especially impacted by the news coverage although the oil never actually reached its shorelines or beaches. Nevertheless, as a result of the spill Apalachicola suffered economically from the loss of revenues derived from property taxes, tourism traffic and the sale of seafood. For which city officials retained the services of outside counsel David Rash to file an economic recovery lawsuit against BP in Federal Court, Rash in turn brought on board the nationally recognized personal injury Law Firm of Colson, Hicks and Eidson based out of Coral Gables, Florida.
During the latter part of June the attorneys were notified by the court that the oil giant had agreed to settle the lawsuit for $1,000,000.00, and placed the settlement agreement under a gag order to prevent the matter from being discussed publicly until all parties had agreed.
In a closed attorney client session held ahead of the July regular scheduled city meeting, city commissioners discussed and agreed upon the terms of the settlement, which was announced by Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson during the opening of the regular meeting.
“It gives me great pleasure to announce that the Federal Court Case filed in 2012 by the City of Apalachicola against BP has been settled for $1,000.000.00 through the collective efforts of your elected leadership, staff, City Attorney Pat Floyd, outside counsel David Rash and the Law Firm of Colson, Hicks and Eidson”, Johnson said.
“This is a significant achievement for the city and a testament to the fortitude of the Apalachicola Board of City Commissioners to fight for the economic well-being of this community”.
The city is now expected to receive the settlement monies in a matter of weeks.