Greenville native taking on BP

Published 6:44 pm Friday, August 5, 2011

A Greenville native is actively involved in helping those impacted by the BP/Deepwater Horizons oil spills that devastated Gulf Coast waters last year.

Attorney Chris Boutwell is involved with the science group of Beasley Allen Law Firm in Montgomery, and says his work connected with litigation is a bit like television’s CSI.

“We act as environmental attorneys, bringing together all the experts in that field and compiling the scientific evidence to prove our case against the oil companies,” Boutwell said.

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“I also get to work with some of the best scientists in the country, which is really exciting.”

Boutwell said his firm is representing clients all along the Gulf Coast, including fisherman, property owners and businessmen who were negatively impacted by the oil spill, to obtain compensation for the damages and losses they endured.

He is also lead attorney in cases involving underground storage tanks (USTs), such as those found at service stations, which have developed leaks.

“Even a tiny leak can lead to hundreds of gallons of gas soaking into the soil and into the ground water,” said Boutwell.

“This can cause some serious health issues for many people who live near these tanks, along with affecting their property.

“We protect the rights of those individuals.”

Boutwell, a graduate of the University of Alabama and Jones School of Law, said he started law school “with no idea I would go into this field.”

“I had the opportunity to work in this field when I came to Beasley Allen in 2008, and I have to say I love it,” Boutwell said.

“I like the fact I can represent so many people who have suffered at the hands of, what are usually, large corporations. Most of the time the average person wouldn’t stand a chance going up against such an entity. I like to think we level the playing field.”

Prior to joining Beasley Allen, Boutwell served as Assistant District Attorney for Alabama’s Second Judicial Court and as attorney for the Butler County Department of Human Resources.

Boutwell’s wife is the former Leitha Bland of Luverne, the daughter of Alvin Bland, formerly the owner/publisher of The Luverne Journal.

The Boutwells, who have twin daughters, are active in their church, First United Methodist Church of Montgomery.

While he and his family now live in the Capitol City, Greenville is still home, Boutwell says.

“Greenville is where I was born and grew up. It’s a place where you could rely on your neighbors because they were like your family.

“And it’s a safe environment.”