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Tillery and Rice Win Trial for Stone Energy Pursuant to OPA '90 and the Limitation Act
August 17, 2010

TilleryRiceIn July 2007, a Stone Energy platform in the Gulf of Mexico was hit by an unknown vessel, destroying the well and causing an oil spill two miles wide and eight miles long. Through satellite systems and expert testimony, Stone proved that a vessel owned by Supreme Towing decapitated the platform. After an eight-day trial in federal court in New Orleans, Judge Zainey found Supreme Towing one hundred percent at fault and held that Supreme Towing had no right to limit its liability under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 due to Supreme Towing's multiple statutory violations and its gross negligence. The court also found that Supreme Towing could not limit its liability under the Limitation Act because the negligent acts on the part of Supreme Towing were within the privity and knowledge of its management. The trial was bifurcated and the damage trial will proceed in October 2010. Partner Jefferson R. Tillery and associate C. Barrett Rice represented Stone in this matter.