Some Gulf oil spill claims against BP dismissed

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 26, 2011 7:45 PM
Some Gulf oil spill claims against BP dismissed

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge overseeing hundreds of lawsuits related to last year's massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on Friday dismissed some plaintiff claims and allowed others to remain in the litigation.

In a 39-page, 16-part ruling, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier dismissed some claims against the main defendant, BP, and its co-defendants in the consolidated litigation in New Orleans. He dismissed state law claims, stating that state law is "preempted by maritime law." He also dismissed general maritime negligence claims against defendants Anadarko and Mitsui's MOEX Offshore.

The judge kept intact other claims in the litigation. He ruled that plaintiffs "have plausibly alleged" Oil Pollution Act claims related to the drilling moratorium and a Gulf Coast cleanup program set up in the wake of the oil spill. Oil Pollution Act claims against Anadarko were also kept in the litigation.

The case is In Re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, No. 2:10-md-02179.

(Reporting by Moira Herbst; Editing by Gary Hill)