ST. PETE BEACH, Fla., June 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The St. Pete Beach City Council convened last night, and voted to retain outside legal counsel to evaluate and pursue recovery of the economic losses sustained by the City as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, including lost tax revenues and tourist related income. The team of lawyers recommended by City Manager Michael Bonfield is led by Ronnie G. Penton of the Louisiana-based Penton Law Firm and includes Tampa class action attorney Christa L. Collins, and Augie Ribeiro of Ventura, Ribeiro & Smith of Danbury, Connecticut.
The Penton Law Firm quickly gained national recognition as a front runner in the legal aftermath surrounding the Deepwater Horizon disaster, when Attorney Penton became the first to file a lawsuit for damages related to the spill. That claim, brought as an action in wrongful death, was filed on behalf of a 23 year old oil field worker who died aboard the rig in the explosion. Attorney Penton was also the first to file numerous injunctions and restraining orders against BP, in order to preserve crucial time-sensitive evidence which establishes BP's culpability for the explosion. This evidence has proven itself essential to the preparation of the BP cases for trial, and to securing the $8.6 billion Settlement recently reached in the Multidistrict Litigation in the Federal Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The recent class action settlement agreement with BP specifically exempts governmental entities, such as the City of St. Pete Beach, from the class action's Court Supervised Settlement process. The City's claim will be asserted by the lawyers directly against BP with the assistance of various accounting and claims investigation experts. BP has resolved similar governmental claims in Florida and other states.
Christa L. Collins believes the City's decision to retain her group is the first important step in understanding and recovering the full extent of the revenue losses suffered City after the spill: "There is no doubt that all of our waterfront communities, but especially the beaches, are largely dependent on revenue generated by tourism and were severely damaged by this catastrophic event and the negative publicity and stigma associated with it. We continue to live with the uncertainty and fear of future impacts stemming from this disaster, should the oil currently sitting in the Gulf of Mexico ever resurface and cover our beautiful beaches. I commend the City's leadership and its Council for taking these vital steps to protect the best interest of the City's citizens."
For more information contact Christa L. Collins at (813) 254-1311 or [email protected]
SOURCE Christa L. Collins LLC