"This oil spill greatly affected countless individuals and business owners. In order to preserve the ability to recover money damages against Transocean and be included in the February 2012 trial, a claim must be filed with the federal court by April 20, 2011," Governor Bentley said at a press conference held at Dominick’s Seafood Restaurant in Bayou La Batre. "I am dedicated to working with General Strange to make sure Alabamians are informed of this fast approaching deadline."
A New Orleans federal court is overseeing litigation against companies involved in the oil spill. A trial date has been set for February 2012 and will determine whether Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded on April 20, 2010, can limit what it pays claimants under Maritime law.
Individuals and businesses which experienced personal injury, loss of earnings, property damage, business loss, or other economic loss from the oil spill may be able to participate by filing a form to preserve their rights. The Court has simplified the process to file a claim against Transocean by approving a Direct Filing Short Form.
The Short Form is available by calling 1-800-831-8814 or visiting www.AlabamaOilSpill.info. Filing this Short Form may also join the claimant in the master lawsuit that has been filed against BP and the other defendants. No one is required to use the Short Form. The deadline for filing claims against Transocean regardless of whether the Short Form is used is April 20, 2011. There is no filing fee and a lawyer is not required to file the Short Form. However, anyone needing legal advice regarding their legal rights or about filing this Short Form, should contact a lawyer.
"Filing with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility is not the same as filing in court. The federal lawsuit is separate from the claims process in the GCCF. A claimant may be able to participate in the federal lawsuit even if they already filed a claim with the GCCF," said Attorney General Luther Strange. "The coordinated and united efforts of the Governor's Office, the Attorney General's Office, United States Senators Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions, Congressman Bonner, the local Gulf coast mayors and commissioners, and the Alabama State Bar Association, are significant and strong. I am proud of this team that has committed to work tirelessly until Alabama recovers from the 2010 Gulf oil spill tragedy."
The Attorney General's Office has a website for more information including a list of frequently asked questions and toll-free hotline for individuals seeking more information regarding this process and obtaining free legal assistance or referrals. The website is www.AlabamaOilSpill.info and toll free hotline is 1-800-831-8814.