Florida to file suit against BP on anniversary of Deepwater disaster

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Florida will file its own lawsuit against BP and Halliburton Company seeking to recoup revenue the state claims it lost after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and oil spill. The Attorney General’s Office announced the lawsuit will be filed in federal court, in the Northern District in Panama City.

Two years ago the state rejected a chance to join the on-going federal lawsuit in Louisiana over the Gulf of Mexico spill, with Gov. Rick Scott saying at the time he wanted to ensure Florida was “treated fairly” in terms of receiving reimbursement from BP.

The filing comes just before the three-year statute of limitation, under the Oil Protection Act, to recover economic losses from the spill.

“The State of Florida suffered considerable economic losses as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and BP and Halliburton must be held accountable,” Attorney General Pam Bondi said in a release.

Representatives from BP and Halliburton didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bondi said Florida will seek punitive damages under both maritime and Florida common law, and try to recover revenue from the spill including: lost sales and use taxes; corporate taxes; documentary stamp taxes; cigarette surcharges; cigarette excise taxes; beer, wine, and liquor taxes; fuel taxes; rental car surcharges; and utility taxes.

Bondi’s lawsuit comes as the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced Friday new test results showing Florida seafood products from the Gulf are safe. “These tests show that Florida seafood is without a doubt safe to eat. Our shrimp, fish and other products continue to be some of the best quality seafood in the world,” Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said in a release. The department has used $20 million from BP for testing the more than 3,000 different seafood products from the Gulf and to promote the seafood industry.

Via the News Service of Florida.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.