It has been one year since the devastating Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which has resulted in economic losses to individuals, businesses, and the State of Florida. It also harmed our natural resources and coastal communities. It is my goal to make sure Floridians receive the maximum recovery for their economic losses.
The lessons of 20 years of litigation in the Exxon Valdez matter brought us the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) of 1990. The OPA allows those harmed by the oil spill - state government, local governments, businesses, and individuals - to recover economic losses. To promote compensation without resorting to litigation, the OPA requires potential claimants to first present their damages claim to the responsible party before filing a lawsuit. In anticipation of presenting an OPA claim to BP on behalf of the State of Florida, the Attorney General's Office has coordinated with the Governor's Office, the Legislature, and the Department of Revenue to identify and quantify the state's damages as a result of the spill.
I have kept pressure on Mr. Feinberg to make the claims process faster, more efficient, and more transparent for claimants. While the Attorney General's Office doesn't represent individuals and businesses in the claims process, we do represent the public interest, and I will continue monitor the claims process to make sure Floridians are getting the assistance they deserve.
In closing, it is my objective that all parties that suffered economic loss and environmental harm as a result of the oil spill are compensated as quickly as possible, and my office will continue working tirelessly until this goal is met. For more information regarding the process, please visit: http://www.myfloridalegal.com/newsrel.nsf/newsreleases/EC40E679FD03FAB485257873004B2585.