Thursday, July 29, 2010

BP: Nice PR Image But Now Fights The Lawsuits Over Location

Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed agaisnt BP asking for hundreds of billions of dollars in damages due to the oil spill. Although BP puts on a nice PR image, behind the scenes BP is now fighting over where the cases should be heard. BP wants Houston, texas, home of the oil industry. Those who filed the suits awant New Orleans, which is the most affected state.

Bloomberg reports:

"A panel of federal judges in Boise, Idaho, will hear arguments today on which city will host spill suits, including wrongful-death claims by families of workers killed in the April explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig. Claims include losses of revenue by Gulf Coast businesses and securities claims by holders of U.S. shares in the London-based energy company. The federal government wants the cases consolidated in federal court in New Orleans, while BP said it prefers Houston.

BP faces at least 300 suits over the spill as it works to permanently plug the Macondo well 40 miles off the coast. Oil has fouled beaches and marshes in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Florida.

U.S. officials and many plaintiffs’ attorneys contend New Orleans is the best site for consolidation, noting Louisiana is the closest state to the spill site and has suffered the bulk of environmental damage.

Putting the cases in Houston, home to BP’s U.S. headquarters, would be a “cruel irony” for Louisiana victims, said Stephen Herman, a lawyer for Louisiana residents suing over the spill’s fallout, in a May court filing".

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