MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Legal Newsline) - Alabama plaintiffs firm Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles has filed another class action lawsuit against BP and other companies related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The lawsuit, which was announced Thursday and alleges negligence and wanton misconduct, also names Haliburton and Cameron International as defendants.
According to the petition, the firm seeks to, "represent property owners and rental agencies that have incurred damages related to the disaster, including: real property damages; personal property damages; loss of profits and earning capacity; loss of commercial and subsistence use of natural resources; increased costs of public services; and, loss of revenues."
Jere Beasley, the law firm's founding shareholder, said that, as oil continues to gush from the underwater well, vacationers are canceling plans and reservations.
As a result, property owners are losing revenues they depend on during the summer months from rental properties.
"Many of these property owners are accustomed to losses sustained from hurricanes and natural disasters, but no one anticipated losing rental income from a manmade disaster of this magnitude," Beasley said. "We are working to help ensure their legal rights are protected and that those responsible are held accountable."
Alabama economic development officials estimate the state could potentially see losses in the range of $200 million due to canceled vacations along the Gulf Coast, Beasley said.
According to the suit, "The oil spill also comes at what would normally be the beginning of the most profitable time for the Gulf Coast region, which traditionally collects almost 73 percent of its lodging revenues in the second and third quarters (April-September). More than $533 million was spent by tourists along the Alabama Gulf Coast in the 2008-09 fiscal year. Early estimates indicate tourism in the area may be down by 30 to 50 percent this summer."
The lawsuit was filed in federal court on behalf of plaintiffs Relax on the Beach, Inc., and Sunshine Rentals Enterprises. It seeks to represent individuals and businesses that, "own, operate and derive income, booking fees, or commissions from rental properties on the Gulf Coast and have suffered damages related to the disaster."
Beasley's firm has already filed class action lawsuits on behalf of the restaurant owners, Louisiana businesses, BP shareholders and individuals who have suffered property damages.
Beasley, a former of lieutenant governor in the state, is also working with state Attorney General Troy King on lawsuits against more than 70 pharmaceutical companies.
He's also the campaign chairman for Democratic Congressman Artur Davis, who is running for governor this year.