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Spreading fast: A timeline of litigation over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill

Timeline created by jhayter
Event Date: Event Title: Event Description:
Becnel daniel jr small square Class action over Gulf of Mexico oil spill filed by lawyer with Toyota cases The plaintiffs' bar is starting to circle the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. And one of the first lawyers to court is Daniel Becnel Jr., who is also caught up in Toyota's unintended-acceleration litigation.
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Deepwater horizon small square Lawsuits over oil rig disaster spill into court in Louisiana, Mississippi More litigation is gushing out of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
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Arnold kurt small square Third wrongful-death suit filed over oil rig's lost workers A third wrongful-death suit was filed Tuesday over the Gulf of Mexico oil rig explosion, this one involving a crane operator from Mississippi who was on deck relieving another operator when the blast occurred.
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Godwin donald small square Defense lawyers line up, plaintiffs' lawyers team up on oil spill cases More than 70 lawsuits have already been filed — and more are in the pipeline — in a gusher of litigation over the Gulf of Mexico oil rig disaster. If 200-some plaintiffs' lawyers have their way, the bulk of those lawsuits will be consolidated.
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Beasley jere small square BP shareholders head to court over oil spill's damage to company BP PLC's investors are the latest plaintiffs to go to court over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, alleging the company has long put profits ahead of safety and now faces potentially billions in losses because of the ongoing disaster.
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Becnel daniel jr small square Clash over oil spill MDL pits Louisiana against Texas Plaintiffs' lawyers and defense counsel are squaring off over where those scores of oil spill lawsuits should be consolidated. The disaster has spawned cases in states all along the Gulf of Mexico: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. But so far the choice for a multidistrict litigation is focused on Houston and New Orleans.
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Mackay lamar small square Fourth oil-spill defendant agrees: Somebody else fouled up The finger-pointing game over the still-gushing oil disaster came full circle on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Cameron International Corp. completed the circle when CEO Jack Moore laid the blame elsewhere in trying to explain to a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee what caused the April 20 explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.
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Buzbee anthony small square Transocean tries to cut its future oil-spill losses to $27M The company that owns the now-sunken drilling rig oozing oil into the Gulf of Mexico is counting on a 150-year-old maritime law to limit its damages. To a mere $26.7 million. That's how much Transocean Ltd. said it should pay in a motion filed on Thursday in federal court in the Southern District of Texas.
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Scott summy small square Oil-spill suits pit BP against old foes BP PLC is facing many of its old foes in the rising litigation over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. More than a dozen plaintiffs' firms pursuing BP, Transocean Ltd. and Halliburton Energy Services Inc. have a history of trying to make the defendants pay for safety violations and the resulting harm.
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Guest david small square Interior Department sued over BP oil spill As lawsuits over the BP oil spill mount, a group of conservationists and fishermen have a new target: the U.S. Department of Interior's Minerals Management Service. A suit filed in federal court Tuesday charges that the agency violated federal law by exempting oil companies that drill in the Gulf of Mexico from disclosing blowout and worst case spill scenarios.
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Oil spill small square The Gulf Spill scorecard: lawyers, cases, locales About 200 plaintiffs' lawyers gathered in Orlandao to consider battle plans as a full-scale assault gets underway on the four companies that are behind the massive oil spill that continues to foul waters off the Gulf Coast.
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Arsenault richard small square Louisiana bar gathers to talk oil spill litigation The Louisiana State Bar Association on May 25 is hosting an oil spill symposium, where an estimated 200-plus lawyers will gather to hear legal and environmental experts discuss issues surrounding the Gulf of Mexico disaster. Among the goals of the event will be to prevent another Exxon Valdez situation, in which plaintiffs are still waiting two decades after the accident for the full damages to be paid.
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Turner jeff small square Halliburton hires Patton Boggs for oil spill inquiries Halliburton Co., under scrutiny for its involvement with the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, has hired Patton Boggs to help it respond to investigations on Capitol Hill. The Washington-based law firm said it is providing legal counsel to Halliburton and is not lobbying in connection with the investigations.
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Timeline small square Senators push DOJ to pressure oil spill companies Democratic members of a Senate committee examining the Deepwater Horizon oil spill said today that they want the U.S. Department of Justice to throw the book at the companies responsible. Republicans were a little more cautious.
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Timeline small square Transocean brings in Sutherland, Skadden Transocean has turned to Sutherland Asbill & Brennan to handle litigation stemming from the oil spill in the Gulf. Meanwhile, helping Transocean respond to the multiple congressional investigations is a team from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
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Dunn joe small square Judges say yes and no to staying oil spill cases Two federal courts on Tuesday came down on opposite sides of whether to stay lawsuits filed over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. An Alabama judge denied BP's request to stay a seafood processor's suit, holding that BP should answer the complaint now because it will have to at some point. A New Orleans judge granted BP's motion to stay a fishing charter company's suit, concluding that BP and the other defendants could face undue hardships if lawsuits are allowed to proceed.
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Timeline small square Transocean: Underwriters pushed to limit liability Two weeks ago, Transocean Ltd., the company that owns the sunken Deepwater Horizon oil rig, filed a motion in federal court seeking to limit its courtroom losses to $26.7 million. Today, a Transocean lawyer said that underwriters forced the company's hand.
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Timeline small square BP official resists defining 'legitimate' claim A top BP PLC executive declined to be specific today when pressed at a congressional hearing to say what kind of claims the company will pay from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
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Jones rhon small square Effort to stay oil spill suits fails again, and again, in Alabama The defendants' push to stay Gulf of Mexico oil spill cases hit another snag in Mobile, Ala. A second federal judge in the Southern District of Alabama on Tuesday denied requests by BP PLC and Halliburton Energy Services Inc. to delay two proposed class actions over economic losses.
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Timeline small square Congress shouldn't raise liability limits on BP, says Chamber's Donohue The president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said Congress shouldn't raise liability limits retroactively in the wake of the BP oil spill, calling it "not right."
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Turner jeffrey small square Companies in Gulf spill tap Washington help The companies at the center of the Gulf Coast oil spill are boosting their legal and lobbying firepower to help them through a growing backlash in Washington.
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Holder eric10 small square DOJ is pursuing criminal probe of oil spill In his most wide-ranging remarks on the Gulf Coast oil spill, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. said Tuesday that the Justice Department is considering both criminal and civil penalties against those responsible for the disaster.
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Greenwald robin small square Make that seven judges in New Orleans recused from oil spill cases On Tuesday, another federal judge in New Orleans stepped aside from handling oil spill cases, joining six other colleagues who have recused themselves in recent weeks. That means only five of the 12 available judges in the Eastern District of Louisiana can hear litigation over the Gulf of Mexico disaster.
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Timeline small square EPA may face suit over use of dispersants in Gulf spill The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is facing a potential suit by the Center for Biological Diversity for allowing the use of dispersants in an attempt to limit damage in the Gulf of Mexico from the BP oil spill.
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Becnel daniel jr small square Motions to stay oil spill lawsuits granted 50% of the time A federal judge in New Orleans has agreed to delay another oil spill lawsuit — as requested by BP PLC — while a federal judge in Mobile, Ala., has denied a similar request. The two decisions this week continue the nearly 50-50 split that has emerged on the question whether to stay or not to stay oil spill cases.
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Oil birds small square DOJ probe of spill could delay civil litigation The U.S. Justice Department's decision to open a criminal investigation into the Gulf Coast oil spill is threatening to complicate scores of lawsuits brought by people seeking compensation for the disaster.
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Coleman jack small square Contract law could limit oil spill liability A private consultant for energy companies told Congress on Tuesday that any effort to rewrite oil spill liability laws retroactively would likely face a legal challenge based on breach-of-contract claims.
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Becnel daniel2 small square BP shareholders bring latest class action in western Louisiana This time, plaintiffs' lawyers filing an oil spill lawsuit against BP PLC decided to just bypass the federal trial court in New Orleans with its raft of conflicted-out judges. Instead, the team of seven firms filed a securities fraud class action in the Western District of Louisiana on June 7.
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Schachter robert small square One class action seeks to unite angry BP investors around the world Another shareholder lawsuit has been filed against BP PLC over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, this one potentially involving plaintiffs from all around the world. The suit, filed June 8 by New York's Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling in the Eastern District of Louisiana, seeks to represent not just American investors but also those who bought shares in London-based BP in the United Kingdom and throughout the rest of the world.
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Oneill brian small square An oil spill liability primer Various commentators, public officials and BP PLC representatives have stated repeatedly that there is a $75 million damages cap for the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Nothing could be further from the truth.
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Gorelick jamie3 small square BP attorney talks about $20B fund BP's top outside lawyer called the company's new $20 billion fund for oil spill damage claims "a sensible and thoughtful step." It wasn't exactly all BP's idea though — in recent days both the White House officials and leaders in Congress had issued increasingly strident calls for an independent claims program.
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Jones rhon small square Scuba divers bring oil-spill suit; lawyers gush into New Orleans Plaintiffs' lawyers are converging on New Orleans Wednesday for another Gulf Coast oil spill gathering to discuss everything from the parallels with the Exxon Valdez disaster to the best trial techniques to nail an oil giant. No doubt the lawyers will also try to draw some shade of meaning for future litigation from Tuesday's decision by U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman of New Orleans to block the Obama administration's six-month moratorium on deep-water drilling.
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Feldman martin small square Oil drilling moratorium judge described as fair, 'terrifying' The judge who blocked the Obama administrations' moratorium on deep-water oil drilling has a reputation as a stern jurist, but until now he has sparked little controversy during his 27-year judicial career.
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Lazarus richard small square Oil spill commission director no stranger to high-profile positions A Georgetown University law professor and prominent environmental law expert has been tapped to lead the newly established commission that will examine the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and plot the future of offshore drilling.
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Yerrid steven small square Florida's outside oil-spill counsel says odds don't worry him Florida's new private counsel for oil spill issues offers a David versus Goliath angle on his assignment. C. Steven Yerrid of the four-lawyer Yerrid Law Firm in Tampa said the oil industry may have hired "the best legal talent money can buy," but, "odds or size has never bothered me."
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Becnel daniel2 small square In oil spill's wake, House OKs bill expanding damages for maritime damages To the chagrin of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the cruise line industry, the House of Representatives on Thursday approved a bill that would allow the families of oil spill victims to sue for non economic-damages.
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Masters lorelie small square Deadline may loom for oil-spill claims under pollution policies Time could be running out for some companies hoping to file an insurance claim over damage caused by the Gulf Coast oil spill. Jenner & Block has issued a practice advisory noting that some insurers are claiming a July 8 deadline to file pollution claims for current or future damages.
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Aron nan small square 5th Circuit judges looking at drilling moratorium have oil ties too, report says The Obama administration's appeal of a decision blocking a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf comes before the 5th Circuit on Thursday. The administration likely wished for a three-judge panel without ties to the oil and gas industry — which turns out to be hard to find in the 5th Circuit.
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Arsenault richard small square Oil spill temporarily stopped, but litigation continues to flow The oil spill has been stopped — for now — but that doesn't mean the litigation will stop flowing. Some plaintiffs' lawyers are predicting that the plugged up well is likely to trigger even more litigation as the dirtiest and most difficult job can finally get underway: assessing the damage.
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Cabraser elizabeth2 small square MDL panel hears arguments over venue in the BP oil spill litigation More than 100 lawyers squeezed into a courtroom in Boise, Idaho, on July 29 to argue before a panel of seven judges about which U.S. courthouse should host the massive litigation over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
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Buzbee tony small square Recent suit against BP over refinery's toxic discharge draws nearly 12,000 plaintiffs Texas attorney Anthony Buzbee, after years of pursuing roughly 250 cases against the oil giant, including several over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, is waging yet another war on BP. This one involves a campaign to turn the people of Texas City, Texas, against BP for leaking toxic fumes into their community.
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Oil birds small square BP oil spill cases consolidated before Judge Barbier in New Orleans The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on Tuesday ordered the wrongful death and economic and environmental damages actions against BP PLC and other defendants sent to U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in the Eastern District of Louisiana.
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Feinberg ken small square Spill fund won't deter litigation The $20 billion compensation fund for victims of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has begun taking applications, but plaintiffs' lawyers doubt it would significantly forestall litigation. In fact, they said, it could lead to a new wave of lawsuits.
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Timeline small square Conferences will discuss legal aftermath of environmental disasters The Deepwater Horizon oil spill will make waves at legal conferences planned in Louisiana and Washington.
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Mcgovern francis small square Scores of lawyers apply for lead counsel in BP litigation More than 100 lawyers who are suing BP PLC over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have applied for coveted places on the committee that will lead the multidistrict litigation, citing either the extensive work they've already done or the unique role they would serve as the representative of a specific group of alleged victims.
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Timeline small square Line forms for lead counsel in BP lawsuit More than 100 lawyers who are suing BP PLC over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have applied for coveted places on the committee that will lead the multidistrict litigation, citing either the extensive work they've already done or the unique role they would serve as the representative of a specific group of alleged victims.
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Barr brian small square Judge appoints plaintiffs' committee in BP litigation A federal judge in New Orleans has named 15 attorneys to serve on the plaintiffs' steering committee in the multidistrict litigation against BP PLC over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
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Miles w daniel dee small square Big MDLs carry political ramifications Multidistrict litigation cases were so large in 2010 that they generated significant political interest, with the Obama administration and various government oversight departments getting actively involved.
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Yerrid steven small square States seek distance from other BP plaintiffs Attorneys general in 16 states and the U.S. government want to put a little distance between themselves and the rest of the plaintiffs in the multidistrict litigation against BP PLC over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
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Barbier carl small square BP judge refuses to put government plaintiffs on a separate track A federal judge in the multidistrict litigation against BP PLC over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has denied a motion supported by 16 attorneys general and the federal government to separate their lawsuits for pretrial purposes from hundreds of other cases.
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Barbier carl small square Judge rules oil spill compensation fund must tell claimants it's acting on behalf of BPFont Size: increase font decrease fontJudge rules oil spill compensation fund must tell claimants it's acting on behalf of BP Members of the plaintiffs' steering committee in the sprawling multidistrict litigation over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill won their second major victory in a week on Wednesday, when a New Orleans federal judge ruled that a $20 billion fund established for spill victims must tell claimants it is acting on behalf of BP.
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Feinberg ken small square Oil and Water Plaintiffs lawyers are splitting over the performance of Kenneth Feinberg and BP's fund for oil-spill victims. Read the story.
Nelson carl small square As Florida cities and counties settle BP claims, praise for the governor's tactics On April 19, one day before the first anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Bay County, Fla., Tourist Development Council approved a $2.6 million settlement with BP PLC--the largest thus far to a governmental agency for tax revenue losses associated with the spill. Read the story.
Bondi pam small square BP deadline prompts bucketloads of claims More than 70,000 lawsuits had been filed as of the anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Read the story.
Kabateck brian small square Franchisees: BP's nickel-and-diming add up to $200 million Dozens of gas station franchise owners on the West Coast have filed a $200 million suit against a division of BP PLC, alleging that it forced them to buy an expensive and defective payment program that has caused them to lose business. Read the story.
Timeline small square Plaintiffs would divide BP shareholder claims into three trials Lawyers for shareholders suing BP PLC to recover losses tied to last year's Deepwater Horizon oil spill have proposed a timetable by which their cases would go to trial separately, with the first trial possible by July 30, 2012, according to court documents. Read the story.
Nolting gerard small square Relocating to Biloxi to help clients with BP fund claims Soon after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill ravaged the Gulf of Mexico, Gerry Nolting began representing local Vietnamese fishermen who had lost much of their business. But in January, Nolting, a partner at Faegre & Benson's Minneapolis office, took the extraordinary step of actually moving to Biloxi, Miss., to better assist his clients. Read the story.
Yetter r paul small square Shareholders insist BP is on the hook for assurances about safety Misleading and false statements made by BP PLC executives before the Deepwater Horizon oil spill were material to investors, not just a matter of corporate mismanagement, shareholders argued in court documents filed on June 6 in the securities multidistrict litigation against the company. Read the story.
Herman steve small square BP case moving toward trial with surprising speed Less than two years after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, more than 500 lawsuits have been filed against BP and other defendants.
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Timeline small square http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202514592979 This list represents individual actions contained in the MDL arising from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The cases are presented in rough order of their filing dates.
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Ellison keith small square Judge tosses BP shareholders' claims arising from oil spill A consolidated shareholder lawsuit against BP PLC's current and former directors and officers alleging that lapses in security procedures contributed to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has been dismissed, with a federal judge in Houston concluding that the case belongs in England.
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Timeline small square Judge won't let BP fast-track appeal on punitive damages The federal judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has refused to allow BP PLC to immediately appeal his ruling allowing a large number of plaintiffs to seek punitive damages.
[Read the story](www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202520063243).
Barbier carl small square Judge dismisses Deepwater Horizon-related claims A federal judge's dismissal of claims against the operators of emergency rescue boats that responded to the fire on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig has "delighted" the defense but seemed likely to provoke an appeal by the plaintiffs. Meanwhile, they have begun fighting over what the judge actually meant.
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Nolting gerard small square Fishermen accuse BP of stiffing them on cleanup boat leases Nearly 500 fishermen who leased their boats to assist in cleaning up last year's Deepwater Horizon oil spill have sued subsidiaries of BP PLC to recover more than $150 million in payments allegedly owed them. Read the story.
Barbier carl small square Judge keeps tight leash in BP litigation Everything about the impending trial over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is big — the potential damages, the range of legal issues, the thousands of exhibits, the cast of lawyers. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans has made it clear that he intends to prevent the case from getting too big.
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West tony small square DOJ official says BP discussions with government continue A top U.S. Justice Department official has made clear that discussions involving the status of the BP oil spill litigation were continuing after the oil company announced plans to settle with individual private plaintiffs.
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Juneau patrick small square First steps taken toward paying out $7.8 billion settlement A federal judge has named Louisiana attorney Patrick Juneau as claims administrator in charge of overseeing distribution of a proposed $7.8 billion settlement to thousands of commercial fishermen, local residents and others with economic losses and medical claims stemming from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
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Timeline small square Plaintiffs' lawyers protest steering committee fee Plaintiff's lawyers who filed suits against BP PLC over the Deepwater Horizon disaster are protesting a 6 percent "holdback" fee being assessed against their clients to pay the committee that obtained a $7.8 billion settlement in the multidistrict litigation against the oil company.
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Kravitz ron small square Picture looks grim for shareholder claims BP shareholders are attempting to salvage lawsuits alleging they lost stock value due to misleading and false statements made by current and former directors and officers before and after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.
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Bondi pam2 small square Florida raises questions about settlement The details of a proposed $7.8 billion settlement with BP have appeased numerous critics, but Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi continues to raise concerns about whether the deal benefits all the affected residents in her state.
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Hood jim small square Mississippi joins critics of Deepwater settlement The state of Mississippi is asking that a portion of the proposed $7.8 billion settlement with BP be declared null and void, because it excludes more than 200,000 people and businesses that illegally settled claims under an administrative process that forced them to waive all future economic damages.
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Strange luther2 small square U.S., Alabama protest move to delay their BP claims The DOJ and Alabama AG Luther Strange have filed objections to a provision in the $7.8 billion proposed settlement in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill litigation. Specifically, to BP's request to delay trial on the remaining claims until after a hearing this fall to finalize the deal.
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Barbier carl small square $7.8B settlement wins judge's preliminary OK U.S. District Judge Barbier gave preliminary approval to a settlement between BP and individuals and businesses that suffered economic harm or medical costs associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill – and clarified that BP, and not the claimants themselves, would pay the lawyers who spearheaded the litigation.
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Barbier carl 2012 small square Objections to settlement require separate docket The judge overseeing the Deepwater Horizon oil spill litigation has set up a separate docket to handle a growing list of objections to the proposed $7.8 billion settlement with BP PLC.
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Weintraub robert small square Plaintiffs struggle to keep BP derivative action alive, and in the U.S. A New Orleans pension fund has asked a federal appeals court to reinstate a consolidated shareholder action against BP PLC's officers and directors. A trial judge had thrown out the case on the ground that it should have been filed in the United Kingdom.
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Lecesne blaine small square Oil spill penalties could hit $30B As the $7.8 billion settlement of the massive litigation over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill heads toward final approval, BP and Anadarko Petroleum, both of which leased the drilling rig at the heart of the case, face additional billions of dollars in liability to the federal government.
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