Lawsuit Filed for Vessels of Opportunity Participants

Mobile, Ala. – The Cunningham Bounds law firm has filed a complaint in the Circuit Court of Mobile County on behalf of 95 boat owners who participated in BP’s Vessels of Opportunity Program to help with clean-up efforts following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. These boat owners were not paid as promised. Each plaintiff had an agreement with BP that outlined how the program would work: (1) they would be paid for “stand by” time; (2) they would be fully reimbursed for damages to their vessels that occurred while working for BP; and (3) their vessels would be decontaminated at BP’s expense at the conclusion of the program.

In a recent letter to BP Officials and Kenneth Feinberg, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange wrote, “Numerous Alabamians participated in the Vessels of Opportunity Program (“VOO”) established by BP P.L.C. in 2010. And, in 2011, they are still awaiting much needed -- and justly earned -- payment.” In closing, he called the situation “unacceptable and indefensible.”

Cunningham Bounds’ attorney Steve Nicholas said, “Unfortunately, since BP has not honored its contracts with many of the boat owners who participated in the Vessels of Opportunity Program, the owners are being forced to take legal action. There are those who were not paid for stand-by time, boats sustained damages that were not repaired by BP, and owners suffered lost wages while waiting weeks to have their boats decontaminated after participating in the program.