By Ashley Conroy - email
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Because of lessons he learned after the devastation and years of re-building from Hurricane Katrina, Attorney General Jim Hood said Thursday if Mississippi follows through with a massive lawsuit against BP, he will fight to get what he says rightfully belongs to Mississippians.
"Don't want a dime more than we're entitled to, but I want every dime that we are," he said.
To do this, the Mississippi official is not taking any regard against the damage that's been done.
"If the State of Mississippi and BP cannot settle the case, and the state has to file a suit in state court, then BP must agree not to attempt to remove the case to federal court," said Hood in a full statement.
As Governor Barbour said Tuesday at the first of one of many oil spill hearings involving the Mississippi State Legislature, BP should be held responsible.
"The responsible party is BP. That's who we look to, to do things. If they don't do it we go to the coast guard to make them do it," said Barbour.
And though Mississippi's coast has been spared compared to neighboring states, businesses along the shoreline are still affected, and the numbers prove it.
A BP spokesperson said Thursday almost 4,500 claims in Mississippi have been issued against the company, and so far, they've paid around $5.9 million.
Attorney General Hood said if one thing leads to another, BP will cooperate.
"In the conversation I had yesterday (Wednesday), I was encouraged that they're actually considering that demand, which would show good faith," said Hood.
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