Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Upcoming Trial in the Deep Horizon Litigation

NPR has a story with lots of interesting quotes. My favorite:

"There's only one place where a waitress or a shrimper can be on equal footing with a company the size of BP, and that's a courtroom," says Rhon Jones, with the Montgomery, Ala., law firm Beasley Allen. Jones is part of the plaintiffs' steering committee, a group of lawyers coordinating the case.

The story raises a series of important questions about the purpose of litigation and settlement.  Is it best for society to funnel cases outside that system as in the BP and 9/11 cases? What is the use of a trial - to apportion liability? get to the truth? allocate damages? figure out difficult causation questions?  Are different plaintiffs to be treated differently - for example the waitress and the shrimper above as opposed to the attorneys general of the affected states?

Edited to add: I just saw the blog post by George Conk about the potential ineligibility of many plaintiffs who did not file claims with the compensation fund.  See here for more analysis.

ADL

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/mass_tort_litigation/2012/02/the-upcoming-trial-in-the-deep-horizon-litigation-.html

Environmental Torts, Settlement, Trial | Permalink

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