BP Wrongful Death Suit: Litigating a Delicate Situation

Surviving family members who are usually involved in wrongful death actions not only are subjected to an emotionally charged litigation process, but also have the burden of proving the full extent of their damages.

On April 20, the Deepwater Horizon oilrig exploded into flames killing 11 men and injuring many others. The explosion resulted in not only the sinking of the rig in the Gulf of Mexico and one of the worst environmental disasters in history, but also in the death of a crane operator, Aaron Dale Burkeen, who worked on the on the rig owned by Transocean and leased by BP.

A wrongful death lawsuit was filed on behalf of his widow and mother of two children, Rhonda Burkeen. She sued Transocean Ltd., BP Products North America Inc., Halliburton Energy Services Inc., Sperry-Sun Drilling Services Inc. (a subsidiary of Halliburton), and Cameron International Corporation.

In papers filed by her attorney, Mrs. Burkeen claimed the defendants were negligent, negligent per se, grossly negligent, reckless, and liable for failing to properly supervise their crew, train employees, provide safety equipment, provide medical treatment, maintain the vessel, conduct a proper search and rescue mission, provide a safe work environment and exercise due care and caution.

The fact that her wrongful death attorney has access to plenty of available witnesses, as well as a vast quantity of evidence will largely benefit Mrs. Burkeen in regards to the ultimate outcome of this case. However, due to the delicate nature of situation associated with the BP rig disaster, Mrs. Burkeen still required a wrongful death attorney who is skilled in working with family members who have experienced the traumatic loss of a loved one.

In the case of Mrs. Burkeen, her lawyer is working with plenty of support from an outraged public and several independent investigations about the disaster causing her husband’s death.

Unfortunately, not all cases are so clear-cut and need to be aggressively pursued by enlisting the help of a wrongful death attorney who is not only compassionate, but also experienced in the numerous wrongful death statutes and many types of damages awarded in wrongful death cases.

The different kinds of damages awarded in wrongful death cases include:

  • Loss of income
  • Protection
  • Companionship
  • Guidance
  • Assistance
  • Society
  • Counsel
  • Advice
  • Services
  • Comfort

What all of these terms attempt to encompass is the common conclusion or idea that the loss of a loved one to a wrongful death leaves a significant deficit and the loved ones and family members of the deceased are entitled to be compensated for the resulting void left behind.

In most cases the surviving family members or loved ones need to rely on the experience of their wrongful death attorney to prove the victim was killed as a result of negligence.

Hornberger & Brewer are California Personal Injury Lawyers with the experience to meet the unique challenges associated with personal injury and wrongful death cases. They understand that every day thousands of accident victims suffer serious and permanent injuries such as head or spinal cord injuries and even death. They specialize in providing skilled and compassionate personal injury attorneys and wrongful death attorneys who will fight aggressively for the compensation of all of their clients.

Hornberger & Brewer will pursue monetary damages for:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost income
  • Medical bills
  • Permanent injury and disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment, love and affection
  • Property damage
  • Wrongful death


Verdicts & Settlements

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