BP says Louisiana has responded to just five of 70 document requests

Alejandro De Los Rios Sep. 6, 2011, 5:20am


BP attorneys have formally complained about the State of Louisiana's "lack of compliance with BP's Phase One document requests" in a letter filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

BP attorney Andrew Langan sent the letter via e-mail to Magistrate Judge Sally Shushan on Aug. 22. It says that Louisiana has replied to just five of the 70 document requests BP has filed.

Louisiana is one of the five Gulf States suing BP and its partners in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) surrounding the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oilrig explosion and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

"Despite the passage of several months and numerous communications, Louisiana has only agreed to make an incomplete production of documents from a limited number of state agencies."

The letter states that in the documents it has refused, Louisiana has used the same language, which contests BP's requests as "vague, overbroad, unduly burdensome, and/or not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence."

The letter states that BP and Louisiana "are currently at an impasses and have been unable to make further progress in their discussions."

Langan claims that Louisiana has flatly denied BP from "conducting any search of the Louisiana Attorney General's office" and that the state's actions violate Federal rules of civil procedure.

The state has limited the scope of documents it has produced for BP in a way that fails to produce documents relating to equipment, safety devices, drilling operations and other crucial documentation Louisiana possesses on the Deepwater Horizon and the failed Macondo well.

Louisiana has also admitted to BP that it has not conducted document searches of all the state agencies requested by the oil company, the letter states.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier is overseeing this MDL in New Orleans.

Federal MDL 2:10-md-2179

More News