Wants Liability Limit at $27 Million

(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Well here we go, and guess what, once again No Accountability, Especially for the deaths of the 11 rig workers, that’s Us, America, of the 21st century!!

This is just coming across from McClatchy and not very long but somewhat informative.

Gulf rig’s owner uses 1851 law to limit its liability

Transocean, Ltd., the Switzerland-based offshore contractor that owned the Deepwater Horizon floating drilling rig, has asked a federal court in Houston to limit its liability from the oil spill to less than $27 million.

Invoking a little-known maritime law passed in 1851, the company said it should not have to pay any more than the salvage value of the charred oil rig and its freight, all of which sank in 5,000 feet of water after the April 20 explosion that killed 11 workers. Before the accident, the Deepwater Horizon was valued at more than $500 million.

Capitalism of the past thirty years and an 1800 Law, who’d figure!

And the initial reaction of the lawyers of some 100 claims already filed in a number of states:

Lawyers for those injured in the blast said the petition could also prevent any claims filed more than six months after the accident.

“It’s very unfair,” said Matthew Shaffer, a Houston attorney who represents a handful of Transocean employees injured in the blast. “It’s a slap in the face to anyone who has been injured because of their negligence.”


“I think it’s hard to believe they didn’t have any knowledge of what was going on on their own rig,” Shaffer said. Continued

Not hard to believe, we’ve been watching this progress for the past thirty years, reason they get so highly compensated, to Not know what’s going on under their leadership, the buck stopped stopping at the top long ago, not only in the business communities but in the governments!!

An AP Report

If successful, Transocean Ltd. would be left with as much as $533 million in insurance money from the failed venture. That’s almost enough to cover the revenue the company was expecting from a three-year contract with BP PLC. However, it has also estimated additional expenses from insurance deductibles, higher insurance premiums and legal fees at about $200 million.


Karen McCarthy, a New Orleans lawyer who represents a group of Louisiana crab fishermen in one lawsuit, said she’ll oppose the liability cap.

Transocean “will point fingers at BP, but they will also pursue every avenue available to them to limit the loss,” she said.

Tim Howard, a Northeastern University law professor who has filed potential class-action lawsuits on behalf of numerous interests in the gulf, predicted Transocean’s petition will ultimately fail, and the matter would eventually be merged along with dozens of other lawsuits.

Trying to cap liability is a smart thing to do “if you’re Transocean,” Howard said. “Because the evidence so far shows a tremendous amount of culpability on their part.” Continued


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  1. Transocean’s Ploy to Limit Liability Will Be Fought, According to The Buzbee Law Firm


    The Buzbee Law Firm, which represents 10 injured rig workers who were aboard the Transocean (NYSE:  RIG) Deepwater Horizon when it exploded on April 20, condemned a move today by the company to limit its legal liability.

       According to Tony Buzbee, managing partner of The Buzbee Law Firm, “Transocean has accepted more than $430 million in insurance proceeds related to the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, but has asked a Houston federal court to limit its liability to only $27 million, citing an arcane law that dates back to the 1800s. This is a despicable action contorts the intent of the Limitation of Liability Act, which allows a vessel owner to limit its liability to the post-accident value of the vessel. This dishonors the families of the 11 men who were lost on April 20, but also those who were injured on the rig, and the many more affected by the oil spill.” Continued

    I would think, hope, they would have the rising help from the growing voices of Outrage of this country, or will it sit back, Once Again, and let the foxes do the spin!!

  2. But the Mental, i.e. PTS, and everything else to develop and already has.

    Exclusive: Oil Rig Worker Shares Tale of Survival, Fear, Legal Tangles

    • TMC on May 14, 2010 at 01:05

    by Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski:

    “I don’t believe that taking the liability cap from $75 million dollars to $10 billion dollars… 133 times the current strict liability limit, isn’t where we need to be right now,” Murkowski said, objecting to immediate consideration of the bill. She cited the Administration’s unwillingness to put a specific number on the liability cap as a reason not to move to consideration now (thanks for providing the talking point, President Obama!). “I do think we need to look at the liability cap, but we need to be careful of unintended consequences of just picking a number,” she concluded. And she actually tried to turn this into a fight for the little guy, saying that smaller oil producers wouldn’t be able to get insurance with that kind of liability cap, and that it should be structured in a way that “doesn’t give big oil a monopoly over the entire OCS (Outer Continental Shelf).”

    Menendez responded by saying that “When BP makes $5.6 billion in three months, $10 billion is a drop in the bucket.” He rebutted Murkowski’s claim that small claimants could go through state courts to get recompense in a way that is not capped by reminding the Senator from Alaska of what happened in the Exxon Valdez case. “It took 20 years. And some of them fell off the way because they couldn’t hang in there. And they lost everything.”

    h/t David Dayen @ FDL

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