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Alabama files suit against BP, Transocean

By the CNN Wire Staff
Crews soak up oil residue from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in June in Orange Beach, Alabama.
Crews soak up oil residue from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in June in Orange Beach, Alabama.
  • Alabama attorney general files suit against BP and Transocean
  • BP won't comment on lawsuit
  • Attorney general: BP hiring expert witnesses so they won't be able to testify against firm
  • He says BP is working on a report to argue it wasn't grossly negligent to limit its liability

(CNN) -- The state of Alabama has filed suit against BP, Transocean and others in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, according to Alabama Attorney General Troy King.

In a statement announcing the lawsuit filed Thursday, King said, "Some will, no doubt, sound the alarm that the lawsuit is premature. As Alabama's lawyer, I say that if, anything, based on BP's broken promises, their history of saying one thing and doing another, and now, new information that they have been secretly working to gain a legal advantage, further delay can only further damage our people."

King said thousands of Gulf Coast residents are waiting while their claims languish in the legal system.

BP told CNN Friday it doesn't comment on litigation and possible litigation. A spokesman said he had seen a statement about the suit, but there weren't many details in it, and BP wouldn't comment anyway.

Video: Alabama files suit against BP

Attorney General King pointed out BP is spending millions on public relations and advertising, and is hiring "all the best expert witnesses, not because they need their services, but so the experts will be unable to testify against BP." King says BP is selling off assets -- perhaps, to prevent courts from being able to use the assets to satisfy a judgment. King also alleges BP is preparing a report to argue it was not grossly negligent, which would limit its liability.

"Obviously, BP's ads are working. They have persuaded some newspapers and politicians to call for more delays. Shame on BP for running them, and shame on us if we believe them," King said.

He added the lawsuit can always be settled if BP should suddenly "do right" by Alabama and its citizens.

"BP is now on notice. Alabama intends to hold you good to your word and to make you put our state back the way you found it," King said.

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