Maritime Attorney Says Companies Behind Oil Spill Need to Be Held Accountable For Injuries and Losses

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Kurt Arnold of Houston-based law firm of Arnold & Itkin LLP criticizes oil rig owner's attempt to cap liability for the Gulf of Mexico disaster.

Houston Maritime Lawyer Kurt Arnold

Don't go around telling everyone you're going to take care of them, and that we're going to treat you right, but then go down to Houston federal court and file a lawsuit saying that you're not responsible for anything.

Kurt Arnold, a lawyer with a law firm representing several survivors of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, says the companies involved should address their responsibility rather than shifting blame and seeking ways to cap their liability.

Eleven workers on the Deepwater Horizon died and 17 others were injured when the oil rig exploded and sank on April 20. Oil has been gushing into the Gulf of Mexico ever since as the operators scramble for ways to cap the leak from a broken pipe under 5,000 feet of water.

Arnold, a maritime law attorney with the Houston, Texas law firm of Arnold & Itkin LLP, said that victims of the disaster were looking for help while the companies behind it were looking to minimize their responsibility.

Arnold noted that Transocean Ltd., the rig's owner, has stated publicly it will take care of workers injured in the accident. However, the company on May 13 filed a lawsuit in federal court in Houston to limit its liability from the oil spill to less than $27 million, according to news reports.

Transocean invoked an 1851 maritime law that limits liability to the salvage value of a vessel, in this case the sunken Deepwater Horizon. The company also seeks to have any claim filed against it more than six months after the accident declared invalid.

Appearing on NBC's Today Show, the latest in a series of media appearances, Arnold said, "Don't go around telling everyone you're going to take care of them, and that we're going to treat you right, but then go down to Houston federal court and file a lawsuit saying that you're not responsible for anything."

Arnold said seeking the cap on liability and a narrow window for claims is unfair both to those workers directly injured in the accident and the people and businesses who are now being harmed by financial losses related to the oil leak.

Arnold noted that Transocean has reportedly collected $270 million from insurance payouts on the oil rig.

Arnold called on the courts and lawmakers to take all measures to ensure that the responsible parties pay properly for injuries to workers and damages to the Gulf Coast economy.

About Arnold & Itkin LLP The lawyers at Arnold & Itkin LLP, a personal injury law firm based in Houston, Texas, understand the complexities and legalities of maritime law and have a successful track record of verdicts and settlements. The firm provides legal guidance on all aspects of maritime law and the benefits off shore workers are entitled to under the Jones Act, the Death on the High Seas Act, the principle of maintenance and cure, or the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act. Arnold & Itkin LLP handles maritime claims at port cities along the Gulf Coast in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The firm can be contacted toll free at (866) 222-2606 or through its website.

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