When the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded on April 20, 2010, few people could conceive of the magnitude of personal injury and economic and property damage in the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico that would result from the three-month spill of 4.9 million barrels of oil. Under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (101 P.L. 380), a party responsible for the discharge of oil from a vessel or facility “into or upon the navigable waters adjoining shorelines” is liable for the removal costs and damages resulting from the discharge. A number of BP entities, along with Transocean, which operated the rig, and Halliburton, which was tasked with stopping the oil spill, were sued for Deepwater’s damages under OPA. In Re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig “Deepwater Horizon” in the Gulf of Mexico, April 20, 2010 (MDL NO. 2179), Case No. 10-me-2179, E.D. La.).
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