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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bondi wants $5.4 billion from BP in oil spill lawsuit



Florida is seeking $5.48 billion in economic damages over the oil spill three years ago, Attorney General Pam Bondi revealed Tuesday at a news conference highlighting her lawsuit against BP and Halliburton.

How'd she get that number? She wouldn't elaborate because of the litigation. The total includes current, past and future damages, she said, "because we all know there is a large amount of oil on the floor of the Gulf."

Bondi hired four private legal firms to assist her office in dealing with the lawsuit, which she filed Saturday under the three-year statute of limitation under the federal Oil Pollution Act. The legal team looked at lost revenues from various sources as a result of the spill, including sales taxes, corporate taxes, documentary stamp taxes and taxes on alcoholic beverages and cigarettes.

She said the goal was to settle out of court, but BP did not respond to a claim her team presented to the oil giant 90 days before she filed the lawsuit.

"Frankly it's an insult that they did not even respond," she said.

Even though Senate President Don Gaetz appeared at Bondi's side for the news conference, she would not comment on his plan to place 75 percent of any proceeds from the case with a nonprofit company to benefit the northwest Florida counties most affected by the oil.

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 5:35pm]


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