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New Orleans 182 articles

Health officials confirm first case of lethal brain-swelling amoeba in U.S. drinking water

Anxiety has been running high through the communities of St. Bernard Parish southeast of New Orleans, after Louisiana health officials confirmed that a single-cell amoeba called Naegleria fowleri found in the municipal water supply was responsible for killing a 4-year-old child in early August. The case was the first time the lethal microbe has been found in U.S. drinking water, but experts believe that there have been, and will continue to be, many more such cases. Health officials are assuring the public that seldom does the amoeba cause a rare form of brain-swelling encephalitis because it does no damage when ... Read More

Judicial panel rejects motion to create another BP oil spill multidistrict litigation

A group of claimants allegedly harmed by BP’s 2010 oil spill who opted out of the March 2012 settlement agreement or were excluded from it have had their request to form a new multidistrict litigation (MDL) denied. The parties asked the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) that their claims against BP be consolidated into a new multidistrict litigation in the Southern District of Mississippi, separate from the giant MDL the JPML formed in federal court in New Orleans in August 2010. The settlement agreement reached between BP and the plaintiffs’ lawyers in March 2012 is designed to resolve hundreds ... Read More

Court orders BP to pay $130-million administrative bill, BP loses appeal

U.S. Magistrate Judge Sally Shushan on Wednesday ordered BP to pay $130 million in administrative costs to the Deepwater Horizon Claims Center – an advance payment for the oil-spill fund administrator’s third-quarter costs, which BP had earlier refused to pay. Judge Shushan said that BP’s demands for analysis, metrics and explanatory notes of each item in the DHCC’s budget request were unwarranted. In an August 3 letter, BP officer Maria Travis told a senior claims official within the center that administers damage claims to individuals and businesses harmed by BP’s massive 2010 Gulf oil spill that BP would not pay ... Read More

BP ordered to appear in court after refusing to pay oil-spill claim center’s operating bill

BP is refusing to pay a $130.3-million bill for the Deepwater Horizon Claims Center’s operations, and a U.S. magistrate judge wants to know why. The Deepwater Horizon settlement fund, which pays claims to individuals and businesses harmed by BP’s 2010 Gulf oil spill, forwarded a letter it received from BP that said the oil giant would not make the third-quarter advance payment to operate the claims center. BP said that the bill would go unpaid until it is satisfied that fund administrators are paying claims properly. The problem is that the claims are being paid on terms that BP designed, ... Read More

BP’s Dudley says he’ll keep fighting claims paid under the oil spill settlement terms

LONDON — BP has hit dead ends in its all of its efforts to freeze payments on oil-spill claims under the settlement agreement terms it helped craft, but chief executive officer Robert Dudley vows to keep fighting. BP says that claims administrators are resolving “false and fictitious” claims made by some businesses with excessive payments and has asked U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans to stop claims administrator Patrick Juneau from paying any further damages until the settlement terms can be reconsidered by the court. Judge Barbier has rejected BP’s allegations and its request to halt payments pending ... Read More

Transocean must hand over BP oil spill documents, appeals court rules

Transocean lost a motion it hoped would allow it to avoid turning over internal documents related to the 2010 BP oil spill. A panel of three judges in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans denied the company’s motion to stay judgment pending its appeal and hand over documents subpoenaed by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB), a federal board that investigates the release of regulated substances from a stationary source into the environment. The CSB has been investigating Transocean’s potential role in BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster, which killed 11 people and set off the ... Read More

Judge again rejects BP’s request to halt claims payments

The federal judge overseeing BP litigation in New Orleans has struck down BP’s latest effort to freeze payments made to claimants harmed by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The court’s decision means the oil giant could be running out of options to suspend payments being made under the terms of the settlement it agreed to last year. BP had asked Judge Carl Barbier to stop claimant payments while an investigation of two lawyers connected to claims administrator Patrick Juneau is underway. BP alleges that Lionel Sutton and his wife Christine Reitano, who were helping ... Read More

BP’s request to halt oil-spill damage payments to be heard on Friday

As BP’s blown-out Macondo well gushed oil in the Gulf of Mexico throughout the spring and summer of 2010, BP engineers tried repeatedly to cap the runaway well and kill the oil spill, and repeatedly they failed. Now, years later, the BP legal team’s strategies mirror that frantic effort, only instead of capping oil, its lawyers are trying to stop the financial bleeding by fighting damage claims. The settlement that defines who is entitled to oil-spill damages and how those damages are calculated, like the Macondo well itself, is a product of BP’s design and approval. Facing the true scope ... Read More

Mexico, hundreds of others sue BP over Gulf oil spill damages

Mexico is pursuing legal action against BP for its role in spilling millions of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf. The lawsuit was filed in March just before the third anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, which killed 11 workers and unleashed a torrent of crude oil and natural gas in the Gulf. The Mexican government was one of several hundred other plaintiffs to file lawsuits against the oil giant ahead of the 3-year statute of limitations set by the Oil Pollution Act (OPA). The third anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion was April 20. In its first-quarter results, ... Read More

Florida sues BP and Halliburton for $5.5 billion over oil spill damages

The State of Florida filed a lawsuit against BP and some of its affiliated companies last week on the third anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, which killed 11 workers and turned much of the northern Gulf of Mexico into a sea of sticky black crude. The state is seeking to recover $5.48 billion in actual and potential revenues it estimates it lost as a result of the giant 2010 oil spill. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the northern District of Florida, Panama City. It names as defendants BP Exploration & Production ... Read More