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The 20th of April was a very bad day for BP and the consequences of this man-made disaster are now being felt but will inevitably continue and worsen until the spill is contained, cleared up and people are compensated.

Deepwater Horizon rigAs we all know the Deepwater Horizon oil rig was based off the cost of America and quite frankly there could not have been a worse location for there to be a massive oil spill. BP will have to navigate its way through a labyrinth of legal cases and class action lawsuits against them.

The most recent breaking news regarding the oil spill is BP’s decision to pay for the construction of six sand barriers off the coast of the US state of Louisiana in an attempt to protect the fragile wetlands.

At this stage the oil slick has reached Louisiana, a small part of Mississippi, Alabama and is now expected to reach Florida in a few days and it would seem people are already preparing their legal cases.

Several restaurants from Louisiana and Florida have decided to take a proactive step towards recovery by filing a class action case against BP, whom the U.S. Coast Guard has identified as the “responsible party,” according to the Oil Pollution Act.

The class action, dated May 18, was filed on behalf of several plaintiffs who are restaurant owners and others in the seafood service industry who have or will suffer lost profits as a result of the subsequent oil spill following the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

BP also hired workers to help clean up the oil spill, both on the sea surface and on land. It didn’t take too long before workers starting being hospitalised in increasing numbers with high blood pressure, nausea and pounding headaches.

BP oil spillMany of the workers BP hired were fishing crews and they were given a dispersant called Corexit, which is supposed to break the oil into small droplets that are biodegradable. The company which produces the product and BP claim it is safe, but just to be on the safe side Federal agencies have asked BP to limit its use.

If BP thought the worst was over, they were wrong. The “top kill” strategy which has so far failed was a real setback for the company. Every second the leak continues only adds to an already giant bill which BT will have to foot.

Whilst the oil continues to leak BP takes hits from all directions. The share price has suffered with billions wiped of the company’s value. They are losing the very thing they went drilling for in vast quantities, they have agreed to pay for all the clean-up costs, which will go well past $1 billion dollars.

Eleven people died when the oil rig exploded and it is now the biggest man-made disaster in the country’s history. President Obama and his administration have been less than impressed by BP having missed deadline after deadline to fix the leak. The credit rating agency, Fitch has downgraded BP from an AA+ rating to AA.

It is highly plausible that BP will continue to clear up the physical damage from the oil leak for months and it could take years before the legal mess has been sorted out because class actions will be coming at the thick and fast.

As for BP’s relationship with America, it is unlikely to ever fully recover from such a blow.

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