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Gulf of Mexico 375 articles

BP fails to delay oil-spill compensation to seafood works

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NEW ORLEANS, La. — A federal judge on Wednesday denied BP’s request to suspend payments to seafood industry claimants seeking oil spill compensation from a $2.3-billion fund, saying BP’s allegations of fraud against a lawyer representing some of the claimants weren’t substantial enough to justify halting payments to all seafood workers seeking relief from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. BP had asked Judge Carl Barbier to halt the second phase of payments from the special seafood fund BP and plaintiffs’ lawyers agreed to in March 2012. The oil giant alleged that a San Antonio-based lawyer falsely claimed to represent ... Read More

Researchers find a dolphin population in crisis after BP oil spill

BP oil spill litigation

Researchers who recently completed the first major study of dolphin health after BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill flooded the Gulf of Mexico with 206 million gallons of oil in 2010 say what’s left of the dolphin population in Louisiana’s Barataria Bay is struggling to survive. The report, published in the December issue of the Environmental Science and Technology journal, found the dolphins racked with pneumonia, liver disease, anemia, low blood sugar, missing teeth, and other serious problems. One pregnant female was found to be carrying a dead fetus. Of the 32 dolphins briefly captured and assessed of the coast of ... Read More

Latest Gulf oil disasters portend bigger problems for the future, conservationists say

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Dozens of workers were evacuated from a natural gas rig in the Gulf of Mexico Jan. 30 after it began spewing methane gas into the air and continued out of control into the next day. Although no workers were reportedly injured, the ocean conservation group Oceana says that the incident underscores a much bigger threat, one posed by allowing energy companies to drill in deeper, more remote regions of the globe at a time when rigs in the relatively shallow and accessible Gulf are spilling pollution with alarming regularity. On Jan. 30, Metairie, Louisiana-based EvVen Energy Ventures was operating a ... Read More

BP oil spill toxicity damaging hearts in Gulf tuna, new scientific study finds

BP oil spill litigation

A new study of the BP oil spill’s lingering effects on Gulf of Mexico marine life has found that a chemical contained in the crude oil interferes with heart cells in tuna, exposing fish populations to higher risk of disruptions in heart function, heart attack, and death. Researchers from Stanford University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) conducted the study to fulfill a requirement by the Oil Pollution Act that damage to natural resources be assessed in the wake of an oil spill. The study appears in the Feb. 14 edition of the journal Science and was discussed ... Read More

Appeals court upholds BP’s multibillion dollar oil spill settlement agreement

BP oil spill litigation

BP lost another battle it waged against the giant, multi-billion dollar settlement agreement that compensates victims of its 2010 Gulf oil spill when the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday upheld federal Judge Carl Barbier’s approval of the agreement.   BP has repeatedly taken legal action against the agreement it helped design and approve as well as Judge Barbier, who affirmed it, and Patrick Juneau, who has administrated the fund since March 2012. BP has argued that a skewed interpretation of the agreement allows fictitious and inflated claims to be paid to businesses that weren’t truly impacted by the ... Read More

Judge again rejects BP’s attempts to rewrite oil-spill agreement

BP oil spill litigation

A federal judge overseeing oil-spill litigation in New Orleans rejected BP’s protests that damage claims should not be paid to businesses that can’t prove their losses were directly caused by the 2010 disaster. Judge Carl Barbier said in his ruling that BP’s arguments were invalid because they contradicted the position the company took when it pushed for approval of the 2012 settlement agreement, knowing that a quick and efficient claims process would make payment of claims not directly related to the spill “inevitable.” Judge Barbier also said that BP’s settlement agreement was designed to avoid long delays and a slow ... Read More

Appellate court’s ruling threatens businesses harmed by BP’s Gulf oil spill

BP oil spill litigation

A federal appeals court ruling that effectively lets BP slip out of financial and legal obligations spelled out in a 2012 settlement agreement has stunned and baffled Gulf Coast claimants hurt by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Two judges on a three-judge panel at the U.S. 5th District Court of Appeals intervened in the oil spill claims settlement the first week of December, ordering federal judge Carl Barbier to block any and all claims payments to businesses whose “injuries are not traceable to the spill.” The ruling has brought nearly all claims payments to a dead stop by bogging them ... Read More

Dolphin deaths, disease directly linked to BP oil spill, new report finds

BP oil spill litigation

Bottlenose dolphins living in Louisiana’s Barataria Bay region have lung disease and adrenal hormone deficiencies, U.S. government scientists concluded in a new report connecting BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill to surging dolphin deaths and disease for the first time. The study heightens concerns about the impact that exposure to toxic hydrocarbons has made on dolphins, whales, fish, and other marine ingesting food and water in areas of the Gulf contaminated by the BP disaster. The spill sent more than 200 million gallons of crude oil and tons of natural gas into the sensitive marine environments of the Gulf of ... Read More

Jury convicts BP engineer for obstructing investigation of Gulf oil spill

BP oil spill litigation

A jury in a federal New Orleans court convicted former BP drilling engineer Kurt Mix on one count of obstruction for deleting text messages and voicemails from his cell phone that he was supposed to preserve as evidence in the ongoing BP trial and investigations of its massive 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The deadlocked jury appeared to be headed for a possible mistrial Tuesday before finally reaching a verdict in the case on Wednesday. The obstruction of justice charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. The jury acquitted Mr. Mix of ... Read More

BP trial judge issues scathing criticism of BP legal team

BP oil spill litigation

The federal judge overseeing Deepwater Horizon oil spill litigation in New Orleans said he was “deeply disappointed” in the behavior of BP’s legal team, condemning it for attempting to undermine his authority and undo the complex settlement agreement with plaintiffs that it helped design. Judge Carl Barbier issued the unusually striking order Nov. 22 in response to an “emergency motion” the oil giant filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. In that motion, BP accuses the judge of refusing to suspend hundreds of millions of dollars in settlement payments it believes are being sent to claimants ... Read More