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Senate Panel Votes to Lift Liability Cap of BP Oil Spill

Posted By Regan Zambri & Long || 1-Jul-2010

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding partner

The Wall Street Journal (7/1, Tracy, Hughes) reports the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted to remove the existing $75 million offshore oil spill liability cap. Remarkably, according to the Journal, the panel’s move faces opposition and is not assured of passage by the full Senate. The Independent Petroleum Association of America argues that the absence of a cap would benefit only the largest transnational oil companies. IPAA chair Bruce Vincent, president of Swift Energy, is quoted as saying, "This is unreasonable from an economic and business standpoint and will have a devastating impact on job losses and possible increased reliance on foreign oil."

The New York Times (7/1, Broder, Robbins) notes that the committee "voted to remove the liability cap altogether, brushing aside a Republican amendment that would allow the president to set varying caps for individual accidents." The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee "will take up its own version of a liability limits law on Thursday."

Bloomberg News (7/1, Chipman) reports, "President Barack Obama supports raising the ceiling and has faulted Republicans for blocking efforts to make BP more fully liable for damages tied to the worst US oil spill. BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward has said he expects the liability limit to be increased."

It always strikes me as blatantly self-serving when companies seek to limit their obligation to pay for the damages they have caused due to their carelessness and recklessness.  They like to argue that it will adversely impact their profits.  Why should they be able to avoid accountability? Why should the innocent people and companies they harm be the ones to suffer unfairly?   As our parents said when we were children, take responsibility for your actions.  Don’t make excuses.  And learn from your mistakes.

Safety and people must be put above profits.

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About the author:

Mr. Zambri is a board-certified civil trial attorney by the National Board of Trial Advocates and a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.  He has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area.  The magazine also describes him as "one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers" who specializes in personal injury matters, including premises liability, product liability, medical malpractice, and automobile accident claims.  Mr. Zambri has also been named a "Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyer magazine (March/April 2010)–a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America.  

Mr. Zambri was sought after to publish a chapter regarding product liability litigation in Aspatore Books – a company that is touted as "the largest and most exclusive publisher of C-1 Level executives (CEO, CFO, CTO, CMO, Partner) from the world’s most respected companies and law firms."  To read Mr. Zambri’s publication, entitled "Constantly Preparing To Win", please click here.

If you have any questions about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at szambri@reganfirm.com or call him at 202-822-1899. 

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