Deepwater Horizon Explosion: Looking Back 10 Years Later
10 years ago, the nation was shocked by the deadliest oil rig explosion and fire in its history. When the Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20, 2010, it claimed the lives of 11 workers, injured many others, and triggered one of the worst environmental disasters in United States history. It took two days for the Deepwater Horizon to sink and nearly three months to stop its well from leaking 210 million gallons of oil into the Gulf.
For many, the Deepwater Horizon incident was a distant disaster that became a regular staple of the evening news. As oil gushed into the water for months, outrage grew over the incident’s toll on human and environmental health. It was sad and deeply tragic—but, for many, it was far away. Eventually, the Deepwater Horizon was phased out of the news cycle as the cleanup continued.
For Arnold & Itkin, we knew what it took to help the families who had their lives changed forever. After nearly one-third of the Deepwater Horizon’s crew turned to our firm for help, we were committed to getting every client the answers they were seeking and the futures they deserved. The companies that could have prevented this accident from happening were some of the largest in the world. Despite profits in the billions, they wouldn’t do the right thing and help their workers.
We were facing giants, and we were determined to get the best results for our clients—no matter what it took.
What the Deepwater Horizon Crew Was Facing
When the first crew members reached out to us, we heard stories of a response more calloused than we could have imagined. As they got off the rescue boat, before even being able to speak with their family, surviving crew members were pulled aside by Transocean. Here, the company told them it was going to take care of them—all they had to do was sign a document releasing the oil giant from liability.
“They said, ‘Well, I’ve been with the company for 10 years. They’re going to take care of me.’ So, I said, ‘That’s fine. Here’s my card. Here’s my cellphone. Just call me when they don’t.’ So, sure enough, Transocean, after telling everybody in the media that they were going to take care of their employees, six months after the explosion, sends them all a letter saying ‘We’re going to pay you $60,000 and you’re going to release BP, Transocean, Haliburton, and everybody—or else you’re fired.’ I got a lot of phone calls that day.”
– Attorney Kurt Arnold
Looking Back at the Deepwater Horizon Case
A decade later, the Deepwater Horizon case is still one of the most challenging cases that Attorneys Kurt Arnold and Jason Iktin have taken on. After all, the Deepwater Horizon was owned and operated by two of the largest companies in the world: BP and Transocean. At every turn, the companies tried to escape liability for the incident. Arnold & Itkin never backed down. We were there to make sure the crew members we were representing were not taken advantage of and received fair compensation for their medical bills, their future wages, and any other losses caused by the accident.
The testimonies from the Deepwater Horizon crew that we helped remain one of our most powerful reminders for why we practice law. Behind every one of our victories are rebuilt lives. When so much is at stake, we’ll always be ready to fight for our clients and their families.
“Winning that case was a giant achievement. But, putting aside all of the records we broke on that case, the most important thing was that we helped our friends. They were our clients, but they were also our friends. We helped them get their lives back on track.”
– Attorney Jason Itkin