"U.S. environmental groups filed a suit on Wednesday against British-based oil giant BP Plc saying the world's worst offshore spill inflicted "ongoing unlawful" harm on endangered wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico.
The suit is one of thousands of damages cases to stem from the spill from BP's blown-out undersea Macondo well, which between April and July dumped millions of gallons (liters) of oil into the sea, fouling coastlines in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. The well was capped in mid-July.
But while the bulk of the cases have been brought by affected individuals, like fishermen, hoteliers and companies, this one brought by conservation groups focuses on endangered sea turtles, whales, birds and Florida manatees.
The case was filed in federal court in Louisiana six months after the DeepWater Horizon rig explosion that triggered the spill. It says that these species were harmed by the leaked oil but also that oil in the ocean continues to do them harm."
Matthew Bigg reports for Reuters October 21, 2010.