Over the last couple of weeks BP has been hit with a bevy of lawsuits over economic and environmental damages relating to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill catastrophe. BP recently proposed that these lawsuits be consolidated to a federal court in Houston.
BP called the Houston court the appropriate forum the cases according to a spokesperson for the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. The fact that BP’s Gulf of Mexico Drilling operations are based here in Houston does seem to make it a logical venue for the cases; however, in reality Houston would be an extremely favorable venue for BP because many potential jurors may be more sympathetic to big oil due to Houston’s oil driven economy and the historically conservative approach demonstrated by Texas courts.
Attorneys representing local businessmen who have been affected by the oil spill have asked that the litigation be consolidated before one of three federal judges in Louisiana.
The multidistrict-litigation panel will hear arguments on the matter at their July session in Boise, Idaho.