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Carnival Cruise Lines Sues BP, Other Companies Over Oil Spill

MIAMI (CBS4)- One major cruise line is seeking compensation for damages and losses it incurred as a result of last April's Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Miami-based Carnival Corp. — operator of Carnival Cruise Lines — filed suit last week on the anniversary of the oil spill against BP PLC and several other companies related to the oil rig's operations, according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald.

Carnival is seeking unspecified damages for "economic losses and damages" suffered as a result of the oil spill, according to court documents filed April 20 in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana.

The oil rig explosion claimed 11 lives and caused about 4.9 million barrels of oil to be discharged into the gulf, posing threats to wildlife and certain businesses that rely on access to the waterway to make a living. BP has incurred tens of billions of dollars of liabilities from the disaster.

To establish its eligibility to seek damages, Carnival said in court papers that it serves ports in Florida, Alabama, Texas and Louisiana and uses the Gulf of Mexico to transport guests and ship crew to several ports worldwide.

"The oil spill primarily affected our ships out of Mobile and New Orleans, the Carnival Elation and Carnival Triumph, respectively," Carnival spokesman Tim Gallagher said in an email Tuesday.

Gallagher declined to comment further citing the pending litigation.

Carnival alleges that the parties named in the suit were responsible for the oil spill disaster and are jointly responsible for the damages and losses it incurred.

The oil spill caused the cruise line to incur increased fuel and added vessel cleaning costs, and coupled with the contamination resulted in loss of revenue and decreased bookings, according to the court papers.

Among the other companies named in the court filing are: BP Exploration and Production, BP America Production, Cameron International Corp., Transocean Ltd. and Halliburton Energy Services.

Carnival said in court documents that it had previously presented interim and supplemental claims for damages and losses incurred from the oil spill to BP, Transocean and other agencies assigned to oversee oil-spill claims.

A spokesman for Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises said the cruise line had not taken any legal actions concerning the oil spill.

Last June, BP created a $20 billion compensation fund for spill victims including businesses, fishermen and property owners, with incentives for people who agree not to sue the company.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report)


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