BP moves to dismiss Mexican states' and Alabama cities' complaints in oil spill MDL

Alejandro de los Rios Jun. 23, 2011, 2:30pm


Attorneys for BP have filed a motion to dismiss the claims filed by the Louisiana District Attorneys, Alabama cities and Mexican states against the oil company following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oilrig explosion and oil spill.

BP is claiming that the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) states that "federal law is exclusive for claims arising from drilling for oil and other mineral exploration and development activities on the [Outer Continental Shelf]."

BP also states that the claims brought on by Mexican states are invalid because international treaties between Mexico and the U.S. do not mention remedies for oil spills.

The Alabama cities that filed lawsuits against BP before filing claims with the $20 billion Gulf Coast Claims Facility should have their lawsuits dismissed, BP claims.

The GCCF was established by BP as a way for claimants to bypass the complex multidistrict litigation taking place in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Lawsuits filed by several Louisiana District Attorneys should be dismissed because their claims under the Louisiana Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act (LOSPRA) are preempted by federal law, BP claims.

Louisiana Parishes cite LOSPRA despite the fact that the law also states that "Nothing herein shall be construed to preclude the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries from bringing a civil suit to recover penalties," BP states.

This motion comes on the heels of a BP court victory when U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier dismissed a pleading bundle consisting of environmental damage claims.

On June 16, Barbier ruled that, "an injury is not redressable by a citizen suit when the injury is already being addressed."

"[T]he injunction at this stage would be useless, as not only is there no ongoing release from the well, but there is also no viable offshore facility from which any release could possibly occur," Barbier wrote in his ruling.

The environmental plaintiffs were seeking relief under several environmental laws including the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act, as well as state law.

Federal MDL 2:10-md-2179

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