BP faces Mexico class action lawsuit over 2010 oil spill

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BP Oil Spill 5 Years Later: The Coast Is Still Struggling

A few months after reaching the largest corporate settlement in U.S. history, BP Plc faces a class action lawsuit in Mexico over its deadly 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which a civic group on Friday said it had filed against the company.

Acciones Colectivas de Sinaloa, a group specializing in consumer and environmental class action claims, lodged the lawsuit against four BP units at a Mexico City court this week, said the head of its board, David Cristobal Alvarez.

The claim was based on BP's acknowledgement of the damage caused when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded on April 20, 2010, off the coast of Louisiana, and on studies supporting evidence of environmental damage in Mexico, Alvarez said.

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BP faces Mexico class action lawsuit over 2010 oil spill
FILE - The Transocean Development Driller III, the rig responsible for drilling the main relief well at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil wellhead, is seen on the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana, in this Aug. 14, 2010 file photo. A relief well drilled nearly 2.5 miles beneath the floor of the Gulf of Mexico has intersected BP's blown-out well, a prelude to plugging it once and for all, the U.S government said late Thursday Sept. 16, 2010. The final seal should happen by Sunday. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
Surfers try to catch waves as anglers fish the waters near the jetty in Grand Isle, La., as Tropical Depression Bonnie approaches the coast Saturday, July 24, 2010. Some ships prepared to move back to the site of BP's broken oil well Saturday as the remnants of a weakening Tropical Storm Bonnie rolled into the Gulf of Mexico. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Vessels operate at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico Saturday, July 17, 2010. BP spokesman Daren Beaudo said Saturday afternoon the company would communicate if the trial was stopped. With no word from BP as 3:25 p.m. EDT passed, video footage showed the well was still plugged. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Vessels operate at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico Saturday, July 17, 2010. BP spokesman Daren Beaudo said Saturday afternoon the company would communicate if the trial was stopped. With no word from BP as 3:25 p.m. EDT passed, video footage showed the well was still plugged. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Tourists watch the surf in Gulf Shores, Ala., after walking through a patch of oil that washed ashore Saturday, July 17, 2010. Tourism has picked up at the beach since BP stopped the flow of oil into the Gulf. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
A oil cleanup worker rakes the sand in Orange Beach, Ala., Sunday, July 18, 2010. BP hopes to keep using its giant stopper to block oil from reaching the Gulf of Mexico until they plug the blown out well permanently, the company said Sunday. Retired U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen outlined a different plan on Saturday, saying that after the test was complete, the cap would be hooked up through nearly a mile of pipes stretching to ships on the surface that will collect the oil. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
A workboat operates in a heavy oil slick at the site of the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico Friday, July 16, 2010. The wellhead has been capped and BP is continuing to test the integrity of the well before resuming production. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Workboats operate near the Helix Producer, center, at the site of the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico Friday, July 16, 2010. The wellhead has been capped and BP is continuing to test the integrity of the well before resuming production. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Workboats operate near the Transocean Development Drilling Rig II at the site of the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico Friday, July 16, 2010. The wellhead has been capped and BP is continuing to test the integrity of the well before resuming production. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Vessels operate at the site of the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico Friday, July 16, 2010. The wellhead has been capped and BP is continuing to test the integrity of the well before resuming production. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
The Helix, rear, operates near a drilling rig at the site of the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico Friday, July 16, 2010. The wellhead has been capped and BP is continuing to test the integrity of the well before resuming production. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Drilling rigs and workboats operate at the site of the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico Friday, July 16, 2010. The wellhead has been capped and BP is continuing to test the integrity of the well before resuming production. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
A workboat operates in a heavy oil slick at the site of the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico Friday, July 16, 2010. The wellhead has been capped and BP is continuing to test the integrity of the well before resuming production. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
A workboat operates near the Transocean Discoverer Enterprise drilling rig at the site of the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico Friday, July 16, 2010. The wellhead has been capped and BP is continuing to test the integrity of the well before resuming production. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
A newspaper is seen at a newsagent in central London with headline that BP have stopped the oil leak from their stricken well in the Gulf of Mexico, Friday, July 16, 2010. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
Workers continue to construct a berm system on the northern end of the Chandeleur Islands, La., Thursday, July 15, 2010. A tightly fitted cap was successfully keeping oil from gushing into the Gulf of Mexico for the first time in three months, BP said Thursday. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Paula Walker pauses as she talks her experience on BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig Thursday, July 15, 2010 in Houston. Walker was on the rig when it exploded and was evacuated safely. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Paula Walker poses before an interview about her experience on BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig Thursday, July 15, 2010 in Houston. Walker was on the rig when it exploded and was evacuated safely from the burning rig. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Freshly sorted blue crabs sit in a box in Hopedale, La., Thursday, July 15, 2010. BP finally choked off the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday, 85 days and up to 184 million gallons after the crisis unfolded _ then began a tense 48 hours of watching to see whether the capped-off well would hold or blow a new leak. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Fishermen continue to sort a load of blue crabs after hearing about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill being capped in Hopedale, La., Thursday, July 15, 2010. BP finally choked off the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday _ 85 days and up to 184 million gallons after the crisis unfolded, then began a tense 48 hours of watching to see whether the capped-off well would hold or blow a new leak. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jinda, left, walks with St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro, right, and Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser on the northern end of the Chandeleur Islands, La., Thursday, July 15, 2010. The officials were checking on a berm system to protect the island. Jindal said the berm system was working to keep oil off the islands. A tightly fitted cap was successfully keeping oil from gushing into the Gulf of Mexico for the first time in three months, BP said Thursday. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal looks over the berm system on the northern end of the Chandeleur Islands, La., Thursday, July 15, 2010. Jindal said the berm system was working to keep oil off the islands. A tightly fitted cap was successfully keeping oil from gushing into the Gulf of Mexico for the first time in three months, BP said Thursday. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, right, talks with workers about the berm system on the northern end of the Chandeleur Islands, La., Thursday, July 15, 2010. Jindal said the berm system was working to keep oil of the islands. A tightly fitted cap was successfully keeping oil from gushing into the Gulf of Mexico for the first time in three months, BP said Thursday. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Workers continue to construct a berm system on the northern end of the Chandeleur Islands, La., Thursday, July 15, 2010. A tightly fitted cap was successfully keeping oil from gushing into the Gulf of Mexico for the first time in three months, BP said Thursday. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
The Helix Producer burns off natural gas as it operates in the area of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico, Tuesday, July 13, 2010. BP officials have placed a containment cap over the leak in hopes that the flow of oil will be diminished. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Vessels operate in the area of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico, Tuesday, July 13, 2010. BP officials have placed a containment cap over the leak in hopes that the flow of oil will be diminished. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
A platform burns off excess gas near near the site of of the Deepwater Horizon oil well on the Gulf of Mexico off of the Louisiana coast on Tuesday, July 13, 2010. BP officials have placed a containment cap over the leak in hopes that the flow of oil will be diminished. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
A work boat, left, operates near the Q4000 drilling rig, right, in the area of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico, Tuesday, July 13, 2010. BP officials have placed a containment cap over the leak in hopes that the flow of oil will be diminished. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Vessels operate in the area of the Deepwater Horizon disaster on the Gulf of Mexico, Tuesday, July 13, 2010. BP officials have placed a containment cap over the leak in hopes that the flow of oil will be diminished. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Beach walkers make their way past puddled oil along the beach in Orange Beach Ala., Wednesday, July 7, 2010. Oil washed ashore with the tide overnight, leaving an ugly stain that brought out dozens of BP workers to clean.(AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Hannah Carroll of Longview, Tex., lies in the sun on the oil stained beach in Orange Beach Ala., Wednesday, July 7, 2010. Oil washed ashore with the tide overnight, leaving an ugly stain that brought out hundreds of BP workers to clean.(AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Oil cleanup workers use absorbent booms to collect oil and tar balls in Orange Beach Ala., Wednesday, July 7, 2010. Oil washed ashore with the tide overnight, leaving an ugly stain that brought out dozens of BP workers to clean.(AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Oil cleanup workers use absorbent booms to collect oil and tar balls in Orange Beach Ala., Wednesday, July 7, 2010. Oil washed ashore with the tide overnight, leaving an ugly stain that brought out dozens of BP workers to clean.(AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Oil cleanup workers outnumber tourists on the beach in Pensacola Beach, Fla., Wednesday, July 7, 2010. Oil washed ashore overnight leaving an ugly stain that brought out hundreds of BP workers to clean.(AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Oil cleanup workers rake oil and sand into piles along the shore in Orange Beach Ala., Wednesday, July 7, 2010. Oil washed ashore with the tide overnight, leaving an ugly stain that brought out dozens of BP workers for cleaning duty. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
George Barisich poses for a photo on his boat in Chalmette, La., Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. When a BP oil well began gushing crude into the Gulf of Mexico four years ago, fisherman George Barisich used his boat to help clean up the millions of gallons of spew that would become the worst offshore spill in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
George Barisich shows off a spot on his face on his boat in Chalmette, La., Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. When a BP oil well began gushing crude into the Gulf of Mexico four years ago, fisherman George Barisich used his boat to help clean up the millions of gallons of spew that would become the worst offshore spill in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
George Barisich poses for a photo on his boat in Chalmette, La., Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. When a BP oil well began gushing crude into the Gulf of Mexico four years ago, fisherman George Barisich used his boat to help clean up the millions of gallons of spew that would become the worst offshore spill in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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Because the Deepwater Horizon accident did not immediately contaminate the Mexican part of the Gulf of Mexico, no claims were made at the time, he added.

"But with the maritime currents and the air, the contamination has reached the Gulf of Mexico, it's started to affect people on the coasts of the states in the Gulf of Mexico," Alvarez said.

The explosion was the worst offshore oil disaster in U.S. history, killed 11 workers and spewed millions of barrels of oil onto the shorelines of several states for nearly three months.

BP said in July it will pay up to $18.7 billion in penalties to the U.S. government and five states to meet nearly all claims from the spill, adding to the $43.8 billion it had already set aside for criminal and civil penalties and cleanup costs.

Alvarez said the Mexican suit was seeking compensation for the environmental damage caused, if that was recognized.

The court would likely need to decide by February or March whether to accept it as a class action suit, he added.

BP had no immediate comment, a company spokesman said.


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