Offshore InjuryBlog

Arnold & Itkin Remembers Victims of Deepwater Horizon Three Years Later

Three years ago, on April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 people and triggering a 200 million gallon spill of crude oil. Our offshore injury lawyers proudly represented 27 rig crewmembers, helping ensure they and their families received compensation to help them recover from their trauma. In their honor, we explore how the fragile Gulf environment is recovering three years after the tragedy.

At first glance, when you walk down the beaches or sail along the waters of the Gulf, things appear to have returned to normal, but, underneath the surface, scientists fear that all is not right.

While the oil spewed out of the Macondo well head for weeks, it polluted over 1,110 miles of beaches and marsh along the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. To this day, cleanup crews still find buried pockets of oil on the beaches every time big storms stir up the Gulf.

David Muth, the National Wildlife Federation's Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program director, says, "Visually, the coast looks great,” but, since oil penetrated deep into the fragile eco-systems, "Some of those persistent chemicals just get built up, and as each creature comes along and eats it, the toxins can be amplified right up the food chain until you get to the top predators, like dolphins and sea turtles."

In fact, since the spill, over 650 dead dolphins have been found, Muth says. Turtle deaths have also been on the rise, but some of those fatalities are believed to have been caused by shrimp nets, not by spill related pollution.

Animal deaths can tell one part of the spill’s impact story, but the key to truly understanding how the BP disaster has affected the region is in recognizing that the real damage may take years to show up. That is why victims of the spill may still be eligible to file BP restitution claims, three years after the initial incident—some people are only now realizing how they have been hurt by the environmental disaster.

April 20, 2010 changed the future of the Gulf coast forever; three years later, its people are still struggling to recover. At Arnold & Itkin, our attorneys want the residents of the Gulf Coast to know that we will be here for you, for as long as it takes to recover from the spill.

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