Barbier hears motions in BP MDL status conference

Alejandro De Los Rios Nov. 23, 2010, 8:33am


U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier heard motions Monday filed by plaintiffs and BP at the end of a status conference for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill Multi-District Litigation, according to a tentative agenda released by the court.

The agenda first lists the plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment relating to BP's waiving of its $75 million liability cap under the Oil Pollution Act (OPA). The motion states, "there exists no dispute of material fact as to whether the statutory liability cap should apply to any BP Defendant."

New Orleans attorney Stephen Herman and Lafayette attorney James Roy filed the motion Nov. 1. It cites comments and statements released by BP and its counsel that state the oil company will pay "all legitimate claims" and that they "unequivocally waive their respective rights to invoke limits."

New Orleans attorney Don Haycraft, Chicago attorney Richard Godfrey and Washington D.C. attorney Robert Gasaway filed BP's motion. The motion seeks to confirm "the non-applicability of BP's preservation-of-evidence obligations ... which have been or will be retrieved form the ocean floor."

The motion relates to 95 items retrieved, or will be retrieved or discovered on the sea floor around the blown out Macondo well. It claims that the Joint Investigation Team has determined that these materials are of "no evidentiary value" and, thus, "BP has no obligation to preserve any of the 95 equipment items specified in this Motion."

A 77-page exhibit listing all the equipment that made up the well and what was found on the sea floor accompanied the motion.

Among other things, updates on the status of the well cement used in drilling and the failed blowout preventer testing will be discussed.

Federal MDL 2:10-md-2179

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