Two US lawyers have been sued by a Texas-based fishing community over allegations that they were involved in a scam to cheat supermajor BP with false compensation claims for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, according to a report.
The two Texas attorneys, Bob Hilliard and John Cracken, are accused of faking and stealing identities of thousands of Vietnamese-American fishermen and women involved in the 2010-oil spill, Bloomberg reported.
According to Houston-based lawyer Tammy Tran, who is representing the over 1000 plaintiffs in the case, the lawyers “obstructed the efforts of the people who suffered damages following the spill to pursue their own claims for payments under BP’s restitution programme”, the news wire reported.
Tran, who was unavailable for immediate comment when contacted by Upstream, is reportedly seeking more than $100 million in punitive damages from Hilliard and Cracken.
The attorney of Hilliard and Cracken, Richard Mithoff declined to comment on the allegations when contacted by Bloomberg, saying he had not seen a copy of the complaints yet.
BP's Macondo exploration well blew out on 20 April 2010 due to a gas release while drilling with Transocean semi-submersible Deepwater Horizon. Eleven people were killed in the blast and the rig sank as the well leaked into the US Gulf for nearly three months.
Last year, BP reached a record-setting $18.7 billion agreement with the US federal government and the five states involved in the spill - Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.