NEW ORLEANS, La. – BP’s lawyer, Andrew Langan, argued to a New Orleans federal judge on Wednesday, May 25, that spill victims can only sue for economic losses under specific laws governing offshore spills and that lawsuits filed under other statutes should be dismissed.
“BP’s position is not that every single claim needs to be dismissed,” Andrew Langan, BP’s lawyer, told U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier at the hearing. Claims that have been improperly filed or not yet presented to BP’s trust fund should be dismissed, he said.
More than 4.1 million barrels of crude gushed into the Gulf of Mexico after BP’s Macondo well blew out off the Louisiana coast in April 2010. Thousands of coastal tourism businesses, property owners, commercial fishing interests and seafood processors have sued BP and its contractors in about 450 lawsuits, which are gathered for joint pretrial processing before Barbier.
Earlier this year, BP and its contractors filed court papers outlining positions they contend undercut the oil spill- damages suits on legal grounds.