Taylor English, Pope McGlamry File First Georgia Statewide Class Action Lawsuit Against BP
Atlanta – July 13, 2010 – Georgia law firms Taylor English Duma LLP and Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison & Norwood LLP today filed a lawsuit against BP, Transocean and other parties on behalf of Georgia residents affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The suit was filed on behalf of Georgia residents who own property in the areas affected by the spill, one of the biggest environmental disasters in U.S. history. It seeks compensation for loss of income, loss of property value, and loss of enjoyment by property owners based in Georgia as well as punitive damages for alleged gross negligence and willful misconduct. The suit is the first to be filed in a federal court in Georgia seeking certification of a class composed solely of Georgia residents. Property owners have been deeply impacted by BP’s damaged well, which officials estimate has been gushing between 1.5 million to 2.5 million gallons each day since April 20. Chris Schorr, one of the named plaintiffs in the lawsuit, owns land in Cape San Blas in Florida that has already been impacted. His land, which he’s trying to develop, has lost an enormous amount of value due to the oil spill. “I was planning on using vacation property rental income to pay for my son’s college education,” said Schorr, who lives in Atlanta. “But no one wants to develop property or rent vacation homes with the threat of tar balls and oily water. Now, I’m left with a property that has virtually no value that I’m being asked to pay on.” In anticipation of the oil reaching Gulf beaches in North and Central Florida, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has expanded the closed fishing area to include waters off Cape San Blas, which is south of Panama City. Tourism officials recently told Congress that $500 million would be needed to combat negative public perception due to the oil’s effect on Gulf Coast beaches. In Florida, tourism was down 20 percent in June—and appears to be getting much worse, according to USA Today. Taylor English partner Foy R. Devine, a veteran trial lawyer, said the negative effects will be felt for many years by residents who own Gulf Coast properties. “Even if the leak were plugged today, it would take years to restore the Gulf and its beaches to the condition they were in before the spill,” Devine said. “As a result, property owners in the Gulf have suffered losses estimated in the billions of dollars.” The lawsuit, Schorr, et al. v. BP, et al., filed in the Federal District Court of the Northern District of Georgia, seeks damages outside of BP’s $20 billion trust fund. However, any damages plaintiffs receive from the fund will be figured into the lawsuit. Taylor English has joined forces with veteran trial lawyer Mike McGlamry of the Pope McGlamry firm in preparing the lawsuit and representing the proposed class. Pope McGlamry has a long history handling claims on behalf of large classes of plaintiffs. For more information, call 770.434.6868.
About Taylor English Duma LLP
Taylor English is an Atlanta-based full-service business law firm that provides high quality legal services for optimal value. Areas of practice include Employment & Labor, Technology, Business Transactions, Corporate & Taxation, Creditors’ Rights, Litigation and Dispute Resolution and Real Estate, Development & Construction. Taylor English, which is ranked by Atlanta Business Chronicle as the fastest-growing law firm in Atlanta, represents all types of clients—from Fortune 500 companies and start-ups to individuals. The firm has grown from four attorneys in 2005 to over 70 today.
About Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison & Norwood LLP
Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison & Norwood is a regional and nationwide civil trial law firm, with offices in both Atlanta and Columbus, Georgia, committed to excellent representation and legal counsel. The firm focuses on significant business fraud and commercial tort cases, often involving extensive damages; contract disputes; business to business litigation; cases of catastrophic injury and wrongful death involving issues related to automotive and general products liability; car, truck, and construction accidents; consumer litigation, including deceptive trade practices; insurance coverage litigation and premises liability cases.