Home Sue, Baby, Sue! Mapping the Legal Repercussions of the BP Spill

Sue, Baby, Sue! Mapping the Legal Repercussions of the BP Spill

During the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, we kept you current on how all parties were employing social media. We followed that up with tools to track the aftermath of the spill. Now, we would like to present you with a new way to watch the ripples that are still spreading from the Deepwater Horizon: lawsuits.

The Environmental Law Institute‘s Ocean Program has launched a comprehensive and sophisticated database of every lawsuit related to the spill, replete with interactive maps. The count so far is 473 cases!

“This database attempts to track the ongoing litigation so people can see the types of cases that have been triggered, when and where the parties have filed, and what cases have been closed or consolidated.”

A user can search by type of case (environmental, labor, RICO, etc.), date of filing, or, by clicking the map, they can search by state or administrative area. An advanced search form allows the user to find specific docket numbers or all the cases filed in a specific court.

Links from the search results lead the user to the PACER.GOV database (Public Access to Court Electronic Records). To go further, users must register with a credit card, since some actions are assessed a small fee.

If data’s your bag, and you wish to order or explore it yourself, you can download an Excel spreadsheet of the entire database. In fact, it’s worth it just to survey the kinds of fall out that the spill has expressed. Lawsuits have been filed against Transocean, BP and Halliburton by seafood restaurants going out of business, Mexican states getting hit with crippling clean-up costs, personal injury suits, fisheries going under, fishermen going out of business and more.

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