Friday, September 17, 2010

Judge Extends BP (NYSE:BP) Lawsuit Claims Until April 2011

A battle over time has been engaged in the hundreds of lawsuits filed against BP (NYSE:BP) and other companies related to the Gulf oil spill, and the judge has issued several decisions in response to it.

Judge Carl Barbier, the judge overseeing the cases, said as far as the time-frame to file lawsuits against the defendants, plaintiffs will be given until April 20, 2011. That's exactly a year since the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig which led to 11 deaths and oil spilling into the Gulf.

As far as the limitation of liability in connection to Transocean (NYSE:RIG), a trial date has been set for October 2011 do deal with that issue.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs have been pushing for things to go quicker, while BP and others have said they need more time to produce evidence. The judge in that area has sided with the defendants, saying they need a realistic amount of time to mount a defense.

Over the issue of whether or not plaintiffs should be required to go through the $20 billion compensation fund set up by BP to see if they qualify before being allowed to file a lawsuit, the judge hasn't made a ruling on that yet.

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