A South Carolina real estate company is seeking financial damages from the companies associated with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico even though no oil has washed up on the state’s beaches yet.
The Litchfield Co. of Pawleys Island, S.C., filed a class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court on June 6 seeking $15 million plus in punitive damages from BP PLC, three of its subsidiaries, and five other companies associated with the Deep Horizon rig disaster.
The complaint said that the oil spill “has caused and/or will cause detrimental effects” to South Carolina’s economy and the plaintiffs “have suffered damages and anticipate suffering damages both presently and in the future.”
Credit rating analysts said the oil does not yet pose a credit risk to South Carolina and has not reached its coast yet.
“At this point we are not projecting or assuming that this disaster will have specific environmental impacts on the Atlantic coast,” said Ted Hampton, South Carolina’s lead analyst for Moody’s Investors Service.
Analysts at Fitch Ratings said if oil did reach South Carolina, then they would evaluate the credit implications.
Twenty-two U.S. senators signed a June 10 letter asking federal agencies to develop predictions about the direction of the oil spill and for emergency plans. South Carolina’s Republican senators, Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint, did not sign the letter.