U.S. House Panel Votes to Remove $75 Million Liability Cap

The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster that is still spilling millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico has caused lawmakers to reevaluate the 1990 Oil Pollution Act that placed a $75 million liability cap on disasters like this.

A vote yesterday in the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved a bill that discards the current $75 million liability cap on claims for damage produced by oil spills such as the Deepwater Horizon case. The bill also raises the minimum amount of insurance that facilities must hold to $1.5 billion, a substantial increase from the previous amount of $150 million.

Congress is reportedly in favor of eliminating the liability cap in light of the huge public outcry against the tragic explosion that cost 11 rig workers their lives and is currently still spilling oil into the gulf waters, threatening commerce, tourism, and wildlife in the area. A Senate panel recently cleared a bill to toss out liability caps.

The removal of the liability caps set in place by the Oil Pollution Act have been met with some resistance. Some officials fear that the unlimited liability will allow only the largest oil companies to remain in operation and prevent smaller companies from operating due to the uncapped threat of lawsuits. The fate of the liability cap removal at the Senate level remains unclear as they also discuss a broader energy package and House panels fight over who has claim to jurisdiction over oil spill legislation.

Ben Glass Law provides updates on current news stories regarding liability caps as a service to our clients. We are active with Virginia medical malpractice liability cap cases and have been long involved in reforming their negative impact on deserving victims who have been shortchanged by their limitations. For help with your medical malpractice claims, contact us today - 703-591-9829.

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