Defendants file suits against each other in oil spill MDL

Alejandro de los Rios Apr. 21, 2011, 12:54pm

Defendants in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) surrounding the BP oil spill have filed counter-claims against each other in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

A year to the day that the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, BP is suing fellow defendants Cameron Internation, Transocean and Halliburton, claiming they were responsible for the oil spill.

On the same day, Triton Asset Leasing and Transocean filed a similar cross claim against BP and the other defendants.

Another defendant, Nalco Inc., also filed a cross claim against Transocean.

The filings are the latest attempt by defendants in the oil spill MDL to deflect liability in advance of the limitation of liability trial set to begin in February 2012 before District Judge Carl Barbier.

In its suit against Halliburton, the company that manufactured the drilling cement that allegedly failed and caused the disaster, BP claims it committed "improper conduct, errors and omissions, including fraud and concealment."

BP claims that Halliburton hid vital information about the failure of the cement during the crisis and Halliburton officials on the Deepwater Horizon failed to see warning signs that hydrocarbons had penetrated the well bore.

In its suit against Transocean and Cameron, the manufacturers of the failed blowout preventer (BOP), BP claims the BOP's failure was the cause of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent oil spill.

Transocean has claimed that its contract with BP for operating the Deepwater Horizon indemnifies it from any lawsuits form the oil company.

Cameron has also filed counterclaims against other defendants to product their right to indemnity in the MDL.

April 20 marked the deadline to file claims in the MDL for the limitation of liability trial.

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