Any maritime worker or their family who has suffered the emotional distress of a maritime disaster such as the BP Gulf oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has the right to file a mental anguish lawsuit. Regardless of what the employees of TransOcean and the crew members aboard the Deepwater Horizon have been told by their employers, every one of those maritime workers has the right to file a mental anguish lawsuit.
With only the occasional local paper bearing a story on one or another of the missing workers, the national and international media has largely kept quiet on the human impact of the disaster. However, mental anguish and emotional distress to the employees of TransOcean and the crew members aboard the Deepwater Horizon as well as their families is vivid and real. And for those families who have lost a loved one to the Deepwater Horizon explosion, their mental anguish is truly overwhelming.
Initiating a mental anguish lawsuit or suing for emotional distress in a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit is the appropriate action to take in such circumstances as the Deepwater Horizon explosion. Compensatory damages for mental anguish are called non-pecuniary damages because they are difficult to quantify. But non-pecuniary damages for emotional distress are nevertheless viewed as legitimate compensation for a legally recognized harm. The plaintiff when suing for emotional distress generally is not limited to recovery for present pain and suffering. Where a plaintiff establishes a reasonable likelihood of experiencing future pain, he/she may be awarded prospective damages as well.
Mental anguish is a term that refers to the emotional suffering a victim experiences after a traumatic incident such as the horror and fear the maritime workers experienced during the Deepwater Horizon explosion or the mental anguish their families experience in the wrongful death of a loved one. When suing for mental anguish, the lawyer will establish that the plaintiff suffers from some or all of the following symptoms: anxiety, stress, fright, grief, depression, feelings of distress, and/or psychosomatic physical symptoms. Emotional distress is another frequently used term for mental anguish.
For the family as well as the person who survive a terrifying event or ordeal such as the Deepwater Horizon explosion, be aware of the signs for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that may develop for some people after seeing or living through a dangerous event. Employees of TransOcean and the crewmembers aboard the Deepwater Horizon are susceptible after the trauma of their escape from the explosion and sinking of the oilrig.
The company mainly responsible for the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill is British Petroleum (BP). However, BP works closely with other companies including Deepwater Horizon (the drilling rig), TransOcean (the owner of the drilling rig), and Halliburton, all who might also deserve some of the blame. For now, all of these allegations are still at the stage of finger pointing, and other potential culprits may emerge over the coming weeks.
The Deepwater Horizon explosion not only directly impacts numerous maritime workers and their families, but also inevitably will result in huge losses for the coastal communities bordering the Gulf of Mexico. In Washington, a federal judicial panel already has been asked to consolidate at least 65 potential class-action lawsuits claiming economic damage from the massive oil spill. Commercial fishermen, business and resort owners, charter boat captains, and even would-be vacationers have sued from Texas to Florida, seeking damages that could reach into the billions of dollars.
At the law office of Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., our team of admiralty and maritime law attorneys has decades of combined experience litigating on behalf of injured workers and their families. Let us put our resources and experience to work for you!