We are happy to report that yesterday the Joint Panel For Multi-District Litigation ordered that the oil spill cases will be consolidated before Judge Barbier in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana pursuant to 28 USC Section 1407. The Court said “Upon careful consideration, however, we have settled upon the Eastern District of Louisiana as the most appropriate district for this litigation. Without discounting the spill’s effects on other states, if there is a geographic and psychological “center of gravity” in this docket, then the Eastern District of Louisiana is closest to it. Considering all applicable factors, we have asked Judge Carl J. Barbier to serve as transferee judge.”
Apparently there will be another Conditional Transfer Order coming in the next few days that will address various other issues. The August 10, 2010 Order basically held that:
(i) Cases go to New Orleans,
(ii) Personal Injury cases and economic loss cases will be consolidated,
(iii) the Oil Pollution Act cases (AKA OPA Claims) will be included in the MDL,
and (iv) the Limitation Proceeding brought by Transocean in Texas will be included in the transfer order and will be moved to New Orleans for evaluation of whether it should be included in the centralized proceedings, and It should be noted that the BP Stock trading cases will go to Houston. The law firm of Finckbeiner & Robin is working in conjunction with Goldberg Finnegan, LLC to represent victims of the Gulf Oil Spill Disaster.