- Associated Press - Thursday, October 16, 2014

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - Three Mississippi businessmen argue in a federal lawsuit that Texas attorneys owe them $7.9 million for steering to them thousands of people seeking to resolve claims against BP from the 2010 Gulf oil spill.

Gulf Coast businessmen Scott Walker, Kirk Ladner and Steve Seymour, who is also a Hancock County supervisor, filed the lawsuit this past week in U.S. District Court in Gulfport, Mississippi.

The Sun Herald reports (https://bit.ly/1ttimeg) the three want payment for their services and unspecified punitive damages.

Defendants are Houston, Texas, attorneys Jimmy Williamson and Michael Pohl. They have not responded to the lawsuit, according to court records.

The lawsuit alleges the three steered 9,486 clients to the lawyers. The lawsuit says the three got some money but are still owed $7.9 million.

According to the lawsuit, Pohl and Williamson formed a joint venture to represent clients injured by the BP oil catastrophe from spring through summer 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico.

Walker and the others argue in the lawsuit that as a result of their efforts, “many seafood restaurants and seafood dealers and other oil spill claimants in Maryland, North Carolina, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama signed contracts to be represented” Pohl and Williamson related to their BP oil spill claims.

The lawsuit said the attorneys have and will “reap substantial profits” from the BP litigation. As an example, the lawsuit says, one municipal client the three coast men secured had a claim the attorneys valued at $24.84 million “in 2012 dollars.”

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Information from: The Sun Herald, https://www.sunherald.com

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