Many environmental disasters—such as hurricanes, tornadoes, or earthquakes—are beyond human control. Therefore, outside of insurance coverage, it can be difficult to recover for losses suffered in these disasters. However, some environmental disasters are the result of human action by corporations or other parties. If this is the case, such parties may be held liable for negligence or intentional acts that caused or contributed to the disaster.
The following are some of the worst environmental disasters to take place in the United States.
Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill – After the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oilrig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Louisiana, about 210 gallons of oil flowed freely into the water for 87 days before it was finally sealed. The spill caused extensive damage to wildlife and marine habitats, as well as to beaches, the fishing industry, and the tourism industry in the area. BP ended up paying billions in fines and damages.1
Three-Mile Island – In 1979, part of the nuclear reactor at the Three-Mile Island nuclear power plant2 in Pennsylvania melted down, causing radiation to be released in the surrounding area and a mass evacuation of all residents.
Texas City Disaster – In 1947, a ship carrying ammonium nitrate exploded at its dock, killing hundred of people, including the town firefighters. The flames from the explosion spread to a chemical plant nearby, as well as a large oil pipeline. After another ship exploded and the fires finally ceased, 576 people were dead and the town of Texas City, Texas was destroyed.
Johnstown Flood – While some floods are simply the fault of heavy rains, this flood in Pennsylvania was the result of a failed dam that allowed more than 20 million tons of water to flow with a strong force into the nearby towns. More than 2,200 people reportedly died in the flood leading to a number of lawsuits against certain townsmen connected with the failed maintenance of the dam.
The above are only some examples of how man-made environmental disasters can cause substantial harm. If you have suffered an environmental harm of any kind, call the Tacoma environmental law lawyers at the Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess at 253-572-1000 today.