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Sunday, April 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Contractor Says BP Owes it $5 Million

NEW ORLEANS (CN) - A Mississippi consulting company says BP hired out its boats and services and turned its land into a staging area for oiled birds during the oil spill - then stopped paying for any of it. American Consulting & Development seeks more than $5 million in damages.

Warren Doussan Jr. and his company claim that in addition to hiring out boats, they "were informed that their duties would include transporting U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services teams to various locations on the Mississippi Sound, Gulf of Mexico and to various Barrier Islands to rescue oiled birds." BP told them that their 6½-acre peninsula in Pass Christian, Miss., was perfect for bird rescue and staging, according to the federal complaint.

"Shortly thereafter plaintiffs' crews began to build docks, install water lines, install limestone driveways and parking pads, construct wildlife holding pen, construct the wall of frame board, install commercial ice-maker, construct dry docks, install canopies," the complaint states. Doussan says he also hired nighttime armed security guards.

As many as 36 people a day used the staging area, coming by boat or car, "including seven to nine fish and wildlife teams, including but not limited to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, U.S. Wildlife and Fisheries, Wildlife Services, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, MMS Mississippi State University, U.S. Government Wildlife Museum, Parson's Construction, and Matrix Response Team, which utilized the staging area daily," the complaint states.

"The wildlife teams would deploy from the staging area to rescue oiled pelicans, northern gannets and sea gulls. The oiled birds would be returned to the staging area and transported to local rehabilitation centers."

Doussan says that BP has failed to pay more than $26,100 for material to build the staging area, more than $51,200 for labor, more than $4.24 million to use the 6.46 acres and staging area, and more than $820,000 for boat charters. He seeks $5.1 million plus costs, for breach of contract.

Doussan is represented by Robert Diliberto of Metairie.

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