Federal Government Faces First Gulf Oil Spill Claim – New Orleans Attorneys File For Damages Against Minerals Management Service (MMS)

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The first damage claims have been filed against the federal government in the Gulf oil spill disaster. New Orleans attorneys Delise & Hall are the first in the nation to file a claim against the Federal government alleging negligence of the Minerals Management Service. The claim is on behalf of a commercial diving supervisor who suffered a substantial economic loss as a result of lost income stemming from the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon and resulting oil release.

Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig

The Federal Government enacts rules and regulations that dictate how we behave in everyday life. They should be held to the same level of compliance as every private and corporate citizen. In this instance it is clear that they failed

The New Orleans based admiralty law firm of Delise and Hall]l filed the first in the nation claim against the Federal government today, alleging that the negligence of the Minerals Management Service contributed in large part to what is quickly becoming the largest maritime disaster in modern history.

On Tuesday attorneys presented the claim on behalf of a commercial diving supervisor who suffered a substantial economic loss as a result of lost income stemming from the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon and resulting oil release which has curtailed a variety of work and projects in the Gulf of Mexico.

The claim is an administrative claim presented to the MMS as a prerequisite for suit pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) which established a system for filing claims against the United States. The FTCA permits recovery of money damages because of a negligent or wrongful act or omission by the Federal Government or an employee of the Federal Government working within the scope of his or her employment. This means that an individual may sue the United State for money damages, loss of property, personal injury or death.

Liability under the FTCA is based on what courts have determined to be the common law of torts in that state. Alton Hall, one of the attorneys of record said “Louisiana is a little different in that we utilize a civil code which imposes liability for negligent acts or omissions. If a private person or company is liable under the laws of Louisiana, the United States is liable in like circumstances.”

In discussing the claim, Hall added “We are not seeking to hold any individual personally liable in this action. Our claim is brought against the MMS. The Federal Government enacts rules and regulations that dictate how we behave in everyday life. They should be held to the same level of compliance as every private and corporate citizen. In this instance it is clear that they failed.”

Once an administrative claim has been presented the agency has six months to either admit or deny the claim. Any individual or business who suffered harm as a result of the incident may have a similar claim and should contact an attorney as soon as possible.

Delise and Hall has offices in New Orleans and Covington, Louisiana and has represented maritime workers for over 30 years with a focus on admiralty and maritime claims. Mr. Delise may be reached at (504) 836-8000 or via e mail at bdelise(at)dahlaw(dot)com. Mr. Hall may be reached at (985) 249-5915 or via e mail at ahall(at)dahlaw(dot)com.

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Alton Hall

Bobby Delise
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