Last week about 150 oil spill attorneys (with another 50 or so listening in a spill over room) gathered in a New Orleans federal court room to discuss how litigation pertaining to the spill should progress.
Attorneys representing plaintiffs seeking billions in compensation from BP and other companies urged for litigation to move forward quickly, while defense attorneys requested that litigation be delayed while claims administrators sort out demands for compensation.
Attorneys for BP and the other defendants named in the cases are requesting that all lawsuits related to the oil spill first be examined by the Kenneth Feinberg, the administrator of BP’s $20 billion claim fund, before they are allowed to sue.
Plaintiffs argue that this approach would delay claims for months and “justice delayed is justice denied,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Stephen Herman.
Ideally plaintiffs would like to see test cases in front of juries by next fall but that may be a little ambitious.
I for one would like to see these cases in front of juries sooner rather than later, but there will most likely be many hurdles to navigate before any lawsuits related to the spill make it before a jury.