More litigation is gushing out of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
In Mississippi, two commercial shrimpers on Monday filed a $5 million class action in federal court in Gulfport, alleging the oil spill could destroy their livelihoods. The plaintiffs are represented by Sheehan & Johnson in Biloxi, Miss., and Gambrell & Associates in Oxford, Miss.
In Louisiana, Houston's Lanier Law Firm filed a proposed class action on Monday in federal court in New Orleans on behalf of a fishing company claiming financial injuries from the spill.
In the same court, Wigington Rumley & Dunn of Corpus Christi, Texas, plans to file two similar lawsuits today on behalf of two other charter fishing companies alleging their business has come to a halt because of the spill.
There's also Cooper v. BP PLC, the first oil spill lawsuit filed last Friday, also in the Eastern District of Louisiana, where shrimpers, commercial fisherman and commercial boaters are suing over lost business. The lead lawyer in that case is Daniel Becnel Jr. of Becnel Law Firm in Reserve, La.
And Joseph Ritch of Wigington Rumley said there's no telling where the litigation will end. "We know that the amount of the oil spilling is going to affect all walks of life....Condo associations, casinos along the gulf, hotels -- if there's oil on the beach when people are going on vacation, you figure people aren't going to go there," he said.
Ritch plans to file the two lawsuits in Louisiana on behalf of the charter fishing companies that, he argued, "can no longer do what they used to do."
Ritch's suits, like the others starting to pile up, will target BP, Transocean Ltd., Halliburton Energy Services and Cameron International Corp. The suits allege that the companies were negligent in failing to properly inspect and maintain the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded on April 20, burned and collapsed.
BP, which was operating the drilling rig, has taken responsibility in terms of cleaning up the aftermath. The company announced on Monday that it will pay "all necessary and appropriate clean-up costs" resulting from the accident.
BP CEO Tony Hayward also said on CBS's "The Early Show" that his company is not entirely at fault. "This is not our accident," he said, "but it's our responsibility."