Attorney General Pam Bondi will sue BP and Halliburton on Saturday, the three-year anniversary of the oil spill that killed 11 workers, for the state's economic losses, her office announced today.
Bondi will file the lawsuit in the U.S. Northern District Court in Panama City under the Oil Pollution Act without fanfare. The statute of limitation for filing a claim under the OPA expires after three years. The lawsuit does not address the spill's impact on environmental resources, which "continue to be assessed," states a press release.
Bondi hired four law firms on a contingency basis last year to work on the state's case. Bondi spokeswoman Jenn Meale said a draft of the lawsuit is protected under public record law as an attorney work product.
"The lawsuit includes numerous federal, state and maritime counts. Under the Oil Pollution Act, the State of Florida is entitled to the revenues it lost due to the oil spill, including sales and use taxes; corporate taxes; documentary stamp taxes; cigarette surcharges; cigarette excise taxes; beer, wine, and liquor taxes; fuel taxes; rental car surcharges; and utility taxes and receipts. The State is also seeking punitive damages under maritime and Florida common law due to the egregious nature of the misconduct that led to this environmental and economic disaster."