Florida charter captain sues BP

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A charter captain in Key West, Fla., is suing BP Global, saying the oil company is responsible for his loss of tourist customers.

Although no oil from the Deepwater Horizon well has reached the Florida Keys, Michael J. Burge, who goes by the nickname Capt. Duck, said it's the "perception" that has cost him significant snorkeling, diving, fishing and dolphin encounter business during the last few weeks, according to an article in The Miami Herald.

Burge's company, Key West Tiki Charters, filed a federal class action lawsuit Tuesday against BP America Inc., Transocean Ltd., Halliburton Energy Services and four other companies involved with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

"It's the first of many lawsuits we're going to be filing in federal court in the Keys," said Coral Gables-based attorney Alex Alvarez.

While Key West Tiki Charters currently is the only plaintiff in the suit, the complaint estimates the approximate size of the class will be 1,000. Alvarez said he has yet to calculate damages because the situation is evolving.

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