Did good Samaritans sink the Deepwater Horizon?
Just after the Deepwater Horizon explosion in April, flames engulfed the rig and it ultimately sank. This left many unanswered questions.
One of the questions has prompted a lawsuit with disturbing ramifications. Why did the rig sink? Some of the answers given at a joint Coast Guard/Interior Department hearing in July suggested that a lack of a coordinated firefighting effort could have inundated the rig with salt water causing it to capsize.
The Center for Public Integrity reported that at the hearings Coast Guard personnel said there was no fire marshal designated in the hours after the fire started. The Coast Guard was focused on searching for the 11 missing rig workers, so with no one in charge, the boats that responded to the fire pumped water on it for several hours. The rig listed then capsized taking with it to the bottom a mile of mangled pipe.
“It was the flooding of the Deepwater Horizon and the resulting sinking of the rig that directly caused the piping to break and begin spewing millions of gallons of oil into the ocean,” lawyers Lloyd Frischhertz and Gerald Maples asserted in a class action suit filed in federal court in New Orleans. The suit seeks damages from the vessel companies that responded to the explosion and fire, not from BP.
What, they are suing the good Samaritans?
This is but one of hundreds of lawsuits relating to the BP rig explosion and subsequent oil leak. But this one seems badly misguided. What about the next time a fire is raging at sea? Will responders hesitate to try and save lives for fear of being sued? Let’s hope this one gets filed under “trash” in the court in New Orleans.
We hope so too…