As engineers race to find a way to stop the gushing of oil into the Gulf of Mexico waters, the issue of a damages liability cap, as discussed previously on this blog, continues to be examined by Congress. However, the existing cap, which limits the amount of damage responsibility an oil company can be held to only $75 million dollars, provides exceptions in the case of gross negligence, willful misconduct, and violations of the safety rules. Congress and the White House are considering raising the cap, which had the initial goal of protecting smaller oil companies, not large corporations such as BP. BP has already pledged to honor all “legitimate claims” arising from the destruction they have unleashed, but as more details emerge, the damages cap seems to be a moot point. Testimony has already been given to Congress that critical test results were ignored hours before the explosion, and therefore the safety rules appear to have been violated, which would leave BP liable for all the damages resulting from this man-made catastrophe.
Attorney Terence Perenich recently expressed his concern in an article published in the May 25th issue of the St. Petersburg Times that the health risks and disruption of the local economy could have been prevented if oil companies such as BP had taken stronger precautions when pursuing high risk projects such as deepwater drilling. The potential consequences of mistakes made from those projects are now being fully realized, and we here at Perenich The Law Firm continue to maintain that those responsible for the interruption, disruption, and destruction of the countless livelihoods here in Clearwater, Tampa Bay, and beyond that are tied to the Gulf coast should be held accountable to the fullest extent, and we will continue to assist you in these tragic incidents when corporate negligence places so much of the life you have worked for at risk and in peril.