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Mt. Dora woman who lost oyster bar filing lawsuit against BP

Updated:

MOUNT DORA, Fla. - A Lake County woman said the 2010 British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico put her restaurant out of business.

Kim Combs, the former owner of K and C Oyster Bar in Mount Dora, is planning to take BP, Halliburton and Transocean to court for what she lost.

Combs remembers watching the massive disaster unfold on television April 2010, when the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill sent millions of barrels of oil gushing into the gulf.

At the time, she and her boyfriend were running the K and C Oyster Bar on Highway 19A in Mount Dora. While it was open, she said the seafood restaurant and bar was booming.

After the oil spill, Combs said the customers stopped coming, and getting good seafood from the gulf became nearly impossible.

"They're afraid they'll get sick, so there's no more business," Combs said.

Combs filed a 100-page lawsuit blaming BP and other companies for the drop in sales that eventually put her restaurant out of business.

Combs said she signed a five-year lease. When she closed 14 months later, she said she was stuck with an $80,000 bill.

That was a couple months after the oil spill.

Combs said she lost about $275,000. She ended up selling cars and furniture to pay bills and said she nearly lost her home.

After trying to get money from BP for two years, she said she's given up on joining other settlements and is now suing the big companies for ruining her little business.

"We lost everything," Combs said.

Last week, the Gulf Coast cities of Clearwater and Dunedin filed federal lawsuits against BP for lost tax revenue stemming from the oil spill.