Gulf of Mexico Oil Drilling Accident is Tragic Repeat of History, According to Louisiana Offshore Injury Attorney

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Jim Lambert, Lafayette-based personal injury attorney with expertise in offshore oil drilling accidents, sees eerie similarities to oil rig "blowouts" in 1970s

In the last 10 to 15 years, many oil companies have been drilling at much greater ocean depths in order to hit richer pockets of oil. In the case of the BP accident in the Gulf, an off-shore drilling rig was in waters roughly one mile deep, which is why this accident is proving to be so much more serious and difficult to contain.

Last week's tragic oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, which triggered a massive oil spill that is likely to become one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history, is a tragic reminder of similar accidents that occurred three decades ago, according to a prominent offshore injury attorney.

Jim Lambert, a personal injury attorney in Lafayette, Louisiana with 34 years of experience practicing law, is one of the most highly regarded legal experts in offshore injuries in the Gulf Coast region. According to Lambert, the BP offshore oil well that exploded in the Gulf last week is reminiscent of several offshore "blowouts" that took place in waters near California, Mexico, Norway, Nigeria and in the Persian Gulf, all between the years of 1969 and 1980.

"Offshore blowouts are caused by unexpected 'kicks' in the well, which creates a sudden and explosive release of pressure up the well," said Lambert, who has represented a number of clients who have suffered offshore vessel injuries throughout his career. "In the last 10 to 15 years, many oil companies have been drilling at much greater ocean depths in order to hit richer pockets of oil. In the case of the BP accident in the Gulf, an off-shore drilling rig was in waters roughly one mile deep, which is why this accident is proving to be so much more serious and difficult to contain."

Lambert contends that the similarities between last week's Gulf of Mexico accident and the major offshore oil rig blowouts of the 1970s illustrate how improvements in safety have not kept pace with advancements in drilling technology.

"The regulation of the oil industry is far too reactive to tragic incidents such as this one in the Gulf," said Lambert. "Rather than waiting for the next disaster to stir offshore drilling operators and their regulators into action, we need to demand that the oil companies take worker safety and environmental protection issues more seriously."

Lambert is a longtime member of the American Bar Association, the Louisiana State Bar Association, the Louisiana Association for Justice (Board of Governors, 1994-2002), the Louisiana Association of Consumer Advocates, and the American Association for Justice. He is nationally certified as a civil trial advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and two national rating agencies have awarded him their highest ratings for competence and integrity, based upon surveys of his peers. For more information, please call 337.261.3737 or go to http://www.jimlambert.com.

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