Judge Barbier also urged the lawyers of both the victims and the defendants to consider settling.
BP to Face a Handful of Lawsuits – Judge Carl Barbier
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier said that thousands of lawsuits against BP would be consolidated in his court in New Orleans. There have already been numerous lawsuits filed against BP seeking damages. Some grounds raised were loss of business revenues and cleanup costs.
In a September 15 hearing, the judge told about 150 lawyers in his courtroom that they need to organize the litigation since the number of lawsuits filed against a single entity are simply too many.
Lawyers of the victims of the spill prayed for trials to ensue within a year’s time. The defense lawyers on the other hand, were asking to delay litigation for the reason that the administrators of the funds are still sorting them out.
BP claims that the early trials are still premature, however, Judge Barbier may possibly begin the trials on October 2011. The first trial would be on the claim of Transocean Ltd, seeking its liability to be capped at $26.7 million. Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded.
The BP Spill was the largest offshore oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. An estimate of 4 million barrels of oil was spewed from the rig explosion that happened last April 20, 2010.