The suit seeks to represent individuals and businesses that have incurred damages related to the disaster, including; real property damages; personal property damages; loss of profits and earning capacity; loss of commercial and subsistence use of natural resources; increased costs of public services; and, loss of revenues.
The oil spill resulted from the explosion and sinking of the oil platform Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20th. Coast Guard officials estimate 5,000 barrels a day are leaking into the Gulf. The oil slick made landfall in southern Louisiana early Friday, April 30th, and is expected to reach Mississippi and Alabama within the coming days.
Experts are calling this the worst environmental crisis since the Exxon Valdez and are predicting the economic impact to be greater than that associated with hurricane Katrina.
They estimate the massive oil spill has the potential to negatively affect the entire Gulf coastline. This includes a negative economic impact on thousands who earn their livelihood in the fishing industry, as well as tourism, itself a major industry along the scenic oceanfront. Additionally, the environmental impact is expected to be severe, with oil and byproducts damaging fragile marshlands, marine and bird life.