On Friday afternoon, Jeffrey P. Berniard of the New Orleans-based Berniard Law Firm, LLC, conducted an on-deck inspection of the 263-foot cargo ship, Damon Bankston, which is leased by BP. The ship was used to return some of the rescued crewmembers of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig to BP’s Fourchon Dock Facility after the rig exploded and sank into the Gulf. Seventeen rig workers were injured in the explosion, and eleven workers remain missing and are presumed dead. Mr. Berniard participated in the viewing because he represents numerous plaintiffs who have been affected by the incident. The inspection occurred prior to the ship being cleaned and returned to service in support of ongoing efforts to contain the oil spill. The catastrophe has resulted in the release of more than 200,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf each day since April 20.
Mr. Berniard is well known in the Louisiana legal community as an expert in personal injury cases and suits against negligent companies. With knowledge regarding the Oil Pollution Act (OPA), a federal law passed in 1990 in response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989, his legal representation would help advance anyone affected by the incident. The OPA, though little known to many general-practice attorneys, will play a critically important role in the litigation over the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Assigning liability will be particularly challenging given that numerous companies such as BP, Transocean Ltd., Cameron International Corp., and Halliburton Energy Services were involved in the drilling project. In recognition of his expertise and trial experience, Mr. Berniard has been invited to deliver a Continuing Legal Education seminar on the OPA and legal matters regarding this incident to area attorneys in the coming months.
Additionally, Mr. Berniard is highly regarded for his skills in complex litigation, including class-actions. He is noted for his efforts to help Louisiana families impacted by defective Chinese Drywall, and in 2009 gave a lecture on the topic at a Continuing Legal Education seminar in New Orleans. Also, following Hurricane Katrina, Mr. Berniard recovered over $45 million in uncompensated damages for his clients.
If you suffered any damages related to the Deepwater Horizon incident, or in the coming days incur oil removal expenses, you may be entitled to receive compensation from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund or to obtain other monetary relief. Put the disaster litigation experience of the Berniard Law Firm to work for you by calling 504-527-6225 or 1-866-574-8005.