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In re Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon"

ELR Citation: 40 ELR 20216
Nos. No. 2179, (J.P.M.L., 08/10/2010)

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multistate Litigation consolidated and transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana 77 lawsuits related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The actions indisputably share factual issues concerning the cause (or causes) of the Deepwater Horizon explosion/fire and the role, if any, that each defendant played in it. In addition, it makes sense to include the personal injury/wrongful death actions in the litigation. Similarly, there is no reason to treat claims brought under the OPA separately. The court also ruled that the Eastern District of Louisiana is 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.