Michael A. Winkleman Provides Legal Commentary on BP Deepwater Horizon Accident


Three years ago, the largest oil spill in U.S. history took place, leaving hundreds of people injured and 11 dead. The BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded on April 22, 2010 after an oil well blew, spilling an estimated 210 million gallons o crude oil into the Gulf waters. Over 570 miles of the Gulf were left contaminated, destroying hundreds of marine wildlife and plants. To this day, we are still seeing the effects of the spill on the environment, but even worse, the effects are still being felt by BP workers, injured crew members and the loved ones of those who were killed in the tragedy.

For BP Oil, the road to redemption has taken several twists and turns, and it may still be several years before the case will come to an end. But for victims and loved ones of those involved in the oil rig explosion, their days of turmoil will likely never come to an end.

After the explosion, oil drill workers were left without a job and for many who were injured, their wounds resulted in disabilities that have rendered them unable to perform their duties ever again. The BP oil rig explosion didn’t just kill 11 people, it killed hundreds of workers’ ability to work, killed their dreams, and killed their goals for their loved ones.

Though BP has already paid billions of dollars into a compensation fund for victims, the company’s legal troubles are nowhere near over. Phase two of the company’s civil trial is already underway and is expected to last three weeks. A huge amount of money is at stake, and whether BP wins the case or not, the company is looking at billions in fees.

Lipcon’s Michael A. Winkleman was recently interviewed by Aljazeera regarding the BP Oil spill and asked to give his professional opinion on the legal matter. According to our maritime lawyer, huge amounts of money are at stake in this case.

“If BP Wins, they’re looking at about a $2.5 billion fine, whereas if the federal government wins and gets their best day in court, you’re talking about a $17 billion fine,” said Attorney Winkleman in the Aljazeera interview.

That’s a huge difference, but for a multibillion-dollar corporation like BP, in all honesty, it’s all just chump change.

Individual and state cases against BP have yet to go to court, so the oil giant faces many more potential significant losses, but no matter how much money the company loses, there’s no way to get back what victims and their loved ones lost.

BP should have exercised greater caution in preventing an accident of this magnitude and could have undergone an endless number of safety enhancements to make sure its workers were safe from harm at all times. An oil rig explosion is an extremely serious type of accident, and though 11 people lost their lives, the death toll could have been much higher.

Seafarers employed by any maritime company should know they have the right to turn to an attorney for assistance in filing a case. Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. protects and fights for the rights of seafarers who have been forced to work in unsafe and unstable environments, who have been paid under the minimum wage, who have been denied food and shelter, and who have been subjected to dire working conditions in general.

Victims of seafarer accidents can count on our maritime lawyers to help them obtain the justice they deserve. Mr. Winkleman and all of the attorneys at our firm are available to answer any questions and to help seafarers obtain compensation for their pain and suffering.