As news of the oil spill and the resulting environmental damage spreads, the hospitality industry across southern Louisiana and the Gulf Coast is beginning to feel the effect in the form of cancelled room reservations. Similar to the claims filed by local restaurants, the class action, dated May 26, was filed on behalf of several hotels who have or will suffer lost profits for declaratory relief against BP as a result of the subsequent oil spill following the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.
The named plaintiffs include the Bourbon Orleans, the Crowne Plaza, the Marriott Convention Center, the Wyndham Riverfront, the St. Louis, the St. Ann Marie Antoinette and the Dauphine Orleans. Stephen Herman, HHK partner, is the attorney for the Plaintiffs. Herman’s firm believes that the plaintiffs and those similar businesses in the class who suffer economic losses due to the oil spill are covered by the Oil Pollution Act and they are filing this case so that the remediation process can begin for their clients and others like them. “The hospitality industry has invested time, money and effort into branding New Orleans as an attractive tourist destination,” explains Herman,” and a great deal of that attraction comes from our local cuisine, particularly our seafood. These hotel owners are already beginning to experience how the oil spill and the resulting contamination has an adverse impact on our local tourism and business travel – an industry that is vital to our state’s economy.”
As a Class Action, the suit has been filed on behalf of the named plaintiffs as well as other “hotels, motels, condominiums, and/or other facilities that provide overnight lodging that are located in Louisiana Parishes and/or Texas, Florida, Mississippi and/or Alabama Counties which touch and/or border on the Gulf of Mexico.” At the time this suit was filed, this class was believed to exceed 1,000 businesses.