March 10, 2014
A Deepwater Horizon oil-spill lawsuit the state filed Wednesday over environmental damage shows legal wrangling over the 2010 spill could drag on for years.
"This is going to be a long and protracted process," said Monroe County Commissioner George Neugent, a board member of Florida's Gulf Coast Consortium, which oversees a portion of the Restore Act money generated from pollution fines.
"Everybody is getting a little frustrated," Neugent said Thursday. "Now we're pretty much hunkered down for the long term."
State officials filed a separate federal lawsuit against BP and other defendants in 2013 over unresolved economic damages incurred by governments.
The latest action in federal court addresses the state's cost of restoring the environmental damage from the largest oil spill in U.S. history.
"After many years of unsuccessfully trying to reach a settlement, the case has come to a point where Florida must join the suit in order to protect our most valuable natural resource," Gov. Rick Scott said in a Wednesday statement on the environmental damages case.