Gulf Spill Update: Florida Real Estate Developer Sues Halliburton


The largest landholder in the Florida Panhandle is suffering huge losses due to the BP oil spill. And it's looking for someone to pay.

The St. Joe Company, a real estate developer in Florida that owns 577,000 acres of land near the Gulf Coast, filed a suit against Halliburton Co. on Aug. 4, asking for more than $1 billion in damages. St. Joe filed the complaint against the oil-services company, it said, because Halliburton, which helped to build the oil well, "ignored multiple warning signs" that the rig was unsafe and could have helped prevent the disaster. Halliburton is perhaps best-known as the company Dick Cheney ran as chief executive before becoming vice president under George W. Bush.

Although the well was owned by BP, St. Joe said in the complaint that Halliburton's work encasing the well in cement was not properly managed, "allowing oil and gas to escape the well, which caused the catastrophic blowout."