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OPSB sues BP 

School board seeks jury trial for damages to property, employees and image

  The Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) added its name this month to the long list of plaintiffs filling lawsuits against BP in the wake of the 2010 Gulf oil disaster. The school board filed a complaint Sept. 7 asking that BP and other parties be held accountable for property damage and "damage to the quality of the educational system."

  The complaint also seeks to make BP pay for the OPSB's loss of funds from tax revenues, diminution of property values and increased costs of services. It demands that BP and other responsible parties pay for the increased cost of health care for affected OPSB employees for "treatment of physical and emotional problems related to the oil spill."

  The board's suit also alleges that BP negatively impacted the OPSB's ability to borrow money, and the complaint seeks damages for the OPSB's reduced funding and "the reputation and image of the Orleans Parish School Board in the education and local communities." The board seeks a jury trial.

  Jefferson and other coastal parishes also are seeking similar damages in separate suits. OPSB officials declined to comment but are preparing a statement for later this month. — Alex Woodward

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