"I can tell you this: It’s going to cost them multibillions of dollars. Anywhere from $10 billion to $15 billion," says Daniel Becnel, who filed the first class action against BP and others on behalf of Louisiana shrimpers, fisherman and commercial boaters on Thursday. "We’re getting calls at the rate of 200 an hour. People say they’re nauseated and have throat irritation. That class is probably going to include 1 million people."
Another attorney, Jerrold Parker, of Parker Waichman, who has worked on cases concerning another oil spill around New Orleans, thinks the disaster could be “catastrophic.”
"Exxon Valdez cost $4 billion or $5 billion dollars — this could be bigger than that," says Parker. "You’ve got fisherman who are out of work. Oil workers who can no longer work on the rigs because of the danger of fire. How about tourists on cruise ships that can’t port? Or taxi drivers who aren’t giving rides? The devastation to the New Orleans area is going to be incredible."