Barbier dismisses environmental claims in BP MDL

By Alejandro de los Rios | Jun 20, 2011


U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier dismissed a large pleading bundle of environmental damage claims in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill litigation.

Barbier, who presides over the BP multi district litigation (MDL), ruled that the third party environmental law claims seeking injunctive relief lack standing.

"[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.

The ruling comes after plaintiff attorneys argued with those from BP and Transocean, the primary owners of the Deepwater Horizon, during an MDL status conference in May.

BP attorneys argued that the environmental claims brought by civilians were taking up valuable resources better used for more significant portions of the litigation.

Tens of thousands of economic loss claims have been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana where the MDL is taking place.

Barbier ruled the civilian environmental claims are moot and "injury is not redressable by a citizen suit when the injury is already being redressed" by BP's ongoing cleanup efforts.

Barbier issued his ruling June 16.

Federal MDL 2:10-md-2179

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