Laws
Winning a Lockheed lawsuit

Winning a Lockheed lawsuit

The Lockheed lawsuit is an environmental lawsuit brought by residents of the coastal city of Prince Rupert, British Columbia against the government of Canada and the oil company Shell. The plaintiffs in this lawsuit are seeking compensation for the damages caused to the cultural and ecological life in the areas near the Arctic Ocean where Shell operates their exploration efforts. To date, this lawsuit is still ongoing in the Federal Court in Vancouver. What is interesting about the lawsuit, however, is that it takes Shell to prove that the effects caused to the Arctic Ocean were not caused by their drilling and fracking practices. This is unlike the Chesapeake Bay incident and the Gulf of Mexico spill which took the companies and government to court in an attempt to force them to compensate the damages caused by their negligence.

The Lockheed lawsuit is similar to the lawsuits filed by the states of Washington and Alaska in the last several months. The plaintiffs in this lawsuit argue that they have suffered serious injuries due to the inability of Shell to respond to the ecological concerns that were raised prior to the drilling of the wells. It was these concerns that led the plaintiffs to file the lawsuit in the first place. In the Chesapeake Bay incident, for example, the broad suit was brought against the operator of the Deepwater Wind Energy project. The company had refused to submit a plan for addressing the concerns of the citizens of Virginia Beach that resulted in the shut down of the Deepwater Wind project.

In the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, similar suits were filed on behalf of the citizens of the state of Louisiana. The plaintiffs in both cases are seeking monetary compensation to cover the costs associated with the spill. Similar lawsuits have also been filed against Transcanada, the operator of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. While Transcanada has already settled its own suit, Transcanada is appealing a court decision that would limit the ability of Alaska and Washington to collect past damages due to the spill. As of right now, however, no monetary damages have been awarded to any of the plaintiffs in either case.

Not only are the legal costs high but the costs associated with environmental clean up are high as well. The National Law Journal reported that in the month following the Deepwater oil spill, over 150 lawsuits were filed in Florida, many of which were demanding compensation for costs associated with cleaning up the spill. The legal costs alone could run into tens of millions of dollars, with additional costs associated with environmental clean up. Some estimates put the cost of the clean up at over $10 billion. These costs are just the tip of the iceberg, however as the spill also poses a risk to local aquatic wildlife and coral reefs. A class action suit filed by environmental groups in Florida could bring those costs down to a more manageable level.

The legal costs will only go so far if the affected corporations are not willing to settle the case for less than their current potential damages. In most cases they will not be willing to settle out of court. This is why it is important to work with an oil spill attorney who is well versed in litigating these types of cases. With so much at stake it is imperative that the right attorney is found in order to maximize the chance of success. Only a lawyer with experience will be able to deal with the complications inherent in cases such as Lockheed Oil Spill claims.

A lawyer who has experience fighting these types of cases will know what the benefits of settling for less air, as well as knowing which damages to pursue. In the case of the Lockheed Oil Spill case the spill site was contained within a 100 mile long coastal area. This means that all that can be done is to cleanup the mess that was created. It may be possible to negotiate a financial settlement that is less than the potential damages that could be awarded. In many instances when oil spills occur the company from which the oil was acquired will be forced to pay for clean up costs.

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