Judge: Gulf Oil Spill Victims Can Seek Punitive Damage

August 29, 2011

A federal judge has ruled that plaintiffs can seek punitive damages in some claims related to the 2010 Gulf oil spill.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier’s ruling came in mass litigation related to thousands of claims over economic damages.

The judge dismissed claims filed under state law because they’re “pre-empted by maritime law.” He also dismissed some maritime claims that “don’t allege physical damage to a proprietary interest.”

Steve Herman, an attorney for plaintiffs, said the dismissal doesn’t mean cases are getting kicked out of court. Herman said most claimants adopted a master complaint alleging federal and maritime law violations that goes beyond the claims Barbier dismissed.

BP had no comment.

The lawsuits arose from the oil spill caused by the April 20, 2010, explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which was working for BP.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.