Agenda set for March BP MDL status conference

Alejandro de los Rios Mar. 24, 2011, 2:52pm


A tentative agenda involving BP oil spill litigation has been set for a Friday status conference in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Lousiana.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier will oversee the conference, which will review five pre-trial orders he issued since February, among other matters.

Arguments will be heard for and against a recent BP motion regarding the disposal of samples taken from the Gulf of Mexico that the oil company said have expired.

BP has also filed a motion to conduct further testing on the failed blowout preventer (BOP), which led to the Deepwater Horizon oilrig explosion.

On Wednesday, a joint investigative team led by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of the Interior found that a bent pipe let to the BOP failure.

Barbier will also hear arguments from Transocean as to a recent decision by a federal judge in Delaware to allow a suit against Transocean to be tried in Delaware State Court.

U.S. District Judge Leonard Stark issued a 30-page ruling March 15 in the District Court of Delaware in response to a Transocean motion to stay the action and remove it to federal court.

Stark ruled, "St. Joe only raises claims based on Florida state law" and not under OPA, as Transocean argued.

Transocean is challenging the ruling in the case and is arguing that Barbier enjoin the St. Joe prosecution "until such time as this Honorable Court resolves the scope of OPA's savings provision."

The BP MDL status conference will begin tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.

Federal MDL 2:10-md-2179

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