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BP Deepwater Horizon Explosion in Texas

BP Deepwater Horizon Explosion Lawyers

The Offshore Injury Lawyers at Zehl & Associates successfully represented 5 of the workers who were seriously injured onboard the BP Deepwater Horizon when it exploded on April 20, 2010.

Officials working on behalf of BP and Transocean attempted to settle these lawsuits for shockingly low amounts, sometimes as little as just one year’s wages.

Our firm rejected these unacceptable offers and, instead, assembled a team of experts who quickly began investigating the explosion’s cause.  These investigation provided us with overwhelming evidence of BP’s negligence and gross negligence.  Armed with this information, our explosion attorneys devoted whatever resources were necessary to ensuring that our clients received the maximum compensation available for their injuries and losses.

Our experience and commitment to taking the cases to trial paid off: less than 18 months after the explosion, our Maritime Lawyers were able to reach a confidential settlement on behalf of all of our clients that ensured that they will never have to worry about their financial futures again.

Click here to watch what one of our clients had to say about his experience with Zehl & Associates.

About the BP Deepwater Horizon Explosion

On Tuesday, April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon, an offshore drilling platform owned by Houston-based Transocean Limited, exploded killing 11 workers and injuring over 100 more.

The explosion, which occurred in the Gulf of Mexico about 40 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana in an area known as the Macondo Prospect, left the rig burning and caused it to list badly to one side. By late Wednesday, the rig had slipped beneath the surface of the ocean, leaving a massive environmental disaster in its wake.

At the time of the blast, the platform was drilling but was not actually in production according to Transocean’s spokesperson. The rig was under contract to and being operated by British Petroleum PLC (“BP”). Unfortunately, BP has a long history of operating its facilities in an unsafe manner. Just a few years earlier, a BP refinery exploded in Texas City, Texas killing 15 workers and injuring 300 more. The experienced rig explosion lawyers at Zehl & Associates successfully represented over 100 individuals injured or killed in that terrible tragedy.

A Record-Setting Rig

The Deepwater Horizon, built in 2001, is a 396 foot long, 256 foot wide platform with enough space to carry a crew of 130 individuals. This rig was designed to operate in depths of up to 8,000 feet and can drill to nearly 5.5 miles. At the time of the explosion, the platform was operating in just 5,000 feet of water.

The Deepwater Horizon is a type of rig known as a semi-submersible. These platforms are typically floated to a site where they are partially flooded with seawater and moored using several large anchors. These rigs do not touch the sea floor. Instead, they rest low in the ocean above the drilling site.

In September of 2009, the Deepwater Horizon set a world deepwater drilling record when it managed to drill down to a depth if more than 35,000 feet at another BP site located elsewhere in the Gulf of Mexico.

Transocean operates a total of 140 rigs across the globe with 14 pumping in the Gulf of Mexico alone. According to the Minerals Management Service (MMS), the Gulf is home to a total of 42 rigs that are either actively drilling or undergoing some sort of maintenance in depths of 1,000 feet or more.According to MMS records, since 2001 there have been 858 fires or explosions, 69 deaths and 1,349 injuries reported in the Gulf of Mexico.

Transocean’s Failed Attempts to Limit Damages to the Injured Workers and their Families

On May 13th, 2010, Transocean filed a petition in U.S. District Court to limit its liability for the explosion to just over $26 million dollars, the value of the Deepwater Horizon as it currently sits one mile under the surface of the sea. The strategy sought to take advantage of the 150-year-old Limitation on Liability Act, which was created at a time when the modern insurance industry did not exist.

  • If Transocean had been successful in limiting its liability to the current value of the rig and its cargo, the company could have profited over $350 million from this tragedy.

To avoid public criticism for attempting to deprive workers and their families of damages that they could recover in a lawsuit, Transocean filed its limitation petition the day after it’s corporate representatives appeared before Congress for a hearing regarding the April 20th explosion.

Crucial Test Omitted By BP Just Before Rig Explosion

Just hours before the blast, a crew from Schlumberger that had been onboard the Deepwater Horizon to test the well’s cement linings was sent home without performing any evaluations. According to a spokesman for Schlumberger, the crew had been on standby for 2 days waiting to perform the important test but was never ordered to do so.

According to testimony in front of a Senate committee, only two out of three tests were performed to test the quality of the cement. While the positive and negative pressure tests were both carried out, a third test called a “cement bond log” was never ordered. This third test is the most critical because it analyzes any anomalies in the cement by using sound to detect cracks, spaces or openings that could allow pressure to escape.

While a cement bond log is an expensive and time-consuming test, it is also the kind of safety check that can determine precisely whether or not a well’s cement lining will hold back the enormous pressure just beneath it. Once again, BP was more concerned with its bottom line than with the safety of its employees.

Contact the Undefeated Texas Oil Rig Explosion Lawyers from Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers for Help Today

Having represented thousands of workers who were seriously injured, catastrophically burned, or tragically killed during the largest plant, pipeline, refinery and offshore explosions in recent history, our Explosion Lawyers have the resources, experience and commitment needed to stand up against the largest oil and gas companies in the world and not only win for our clients, but set records.

If you or a loved one were injured in an onshore or offshore explosion, contact our Undefeated Texas Oil Rig Explosion Attorneys for a Free Consultation at 1-888-603-3636 or send us a confidential email through our Contact Us form by Clicking Here.

All consultations are free, and you won’t owe us a dime unless we win your case.

We proudly serve Harris County, Midland County, and throughout the state of Texas:

Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers – Houston
2700 Post Oak Blvd #1000, Houston, TX 77056
(888) 603-3636
Open 24 hours

Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers – Midland
306 W Wall St Suite 701, Midland, TX 79701
(432) 220-0000
Open 24 hours