February 27, 2012  The federal court trial determining liability associated with the Deepwater Horizon fire and oil spill which was scheduled to start today has been delayed by the federal judge presiding over the case.  The trial delay postpones the trial until Monday, March 5, 2012.  The trial involves claimants who elected to opt out of the BP-funded claims process as well as claimants who were denied coverage.  Thus far BP has reportedly paid $6.1 billion to more than 200,000 individuals and businesses who were affected by what has been characterized as the worst oil spill ever affecting U.S. territory.  The case is being tried in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Analysts suggest that a trial delay would only be granted if the judge was convinced that serious progress toward a settlement was being made and there was a prospect of a settlement.  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204520204577247692282634580.html  Moreover, according to observers, a settlement with one or more of the major players makes a settlement with the federal government and affected states more likely.

The environmental law attorneys at Hessian & McKasy track developments in environmental law.  Please see our blog post on Deepwater Horizon Settlement for additional information.  http://www.enviroattorney.net/blog/?post=159  Our attorneys assist clients with environmental health and safety audits, the defense of environmental enforcement cases brought by federal and state authorities as well as the development of environmental health and safety management programs and sustainability initiatives.

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