My boat was damaged by the Gulf Oil Spill. Am I entitled to damages?

If you own or lease a boat that was damaged by the Gulf oil spill, you may have a claim for that damage under the Oil Pollution Act.  For example, under the OPA, eligible claimants may submit a claim for the cost of removing oil stains from their boat, including its upholstery, so as to restore the boat to the condition it was in before the oil spill.

You must submit a written claim, signed by you, which establishes the following: 

  • Your boat damage was caused by the spill and that the amount you are claiming is appropriate;
  • You owned or leased the boat at the time of the spill;
  • The boat was injured or destroyed as the result of the spill;
  • The value of the boat both before and after the spill;
  • The cost to repair or replace the boat; and
  • Documentation that you’ve presented your claim to the responsible party of the spill (BP America and possible others)

 You must request a specific dollar amount for your damages – you can not leave it open-ended.  In order for the claim to be eligible, it must be submitted within three years of the date the damage was reasonably discoverable.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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