$87 million each for lead firms in 2010 oil spill litigation

NEW ORLEANS — A committee of attorneys involved in litigation arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill has made its recommendation for dividing some $700 million in fees among 122 law firms involved in years of complex legal work.

Two Louisiana law firms involved in the litigation from its early days each will get roughly $87.8 million if a federal judge approves the recommendation filed this week in U.S. District Court in New Orleans.

Those firms are Domengeaux Wright Roy & Edwards of Lafayette and Herman, Herman & Katz in New Orleans. The two firms “oversaw and steered the entire litigation effort,” the panel’s report said.

At least two firms are in line for more than $40 million: Cunningham Bounds LLC in Mobile, Alabama, and Weitz & Luxenberg in New York.

Millions of barrels of oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days after an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon offshore rig at BP’s Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven workers were killed and the pollution affected Gulf fisheries, delicate wetlands and recreational beaches.

BP has estimated its costs related to the spill, including cleanup, restoration and legal settlements, total more than $61 billion.

Those costs include a $20 billion settlement covering federal Clean Water Act penalties and environmental damage claims with Gulf states and various local governments, and billions more being paid out under a 2012 settlement with private attorneys for businesses and residents who claim the spill cost them money.

Courts have assigned most of the responsibility for the disaster to BP, while Transocean, which leased the rig to BP, and Halliburton, a contractor, have also reached various settlements in the cases

Lawsuits arising from the spill were consolidated in the New Orleans federal court under U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier. The recommendation filed this week is for allocation of fees based on tens of thousands of hours of work by firms involved with a “steering committee” of plaintiffs’ attorneys working on common issues arising from the spill.

When Barbier will decide on the fee allocation is unclear. And some of the recommended allocations may be challenged: The 50-page report filed Tuesday acknowledges some firms dispute their allocations. And it notes at least two cases in which firms in line for fees have been under scrutiny for alleged improper actions related to the litigation, which might affect the judge’s final decision.

Just Posted

Mothers Against Drunk Driving hold candlelight vigil

Four-and-a-half years ago Marilyn Rinas’ husband was killed in a collision with… Continue reading

Thousands expected at memorial for fallen police officer in Abbotsford, B.C.

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — The streets of Abbotsford, B.C., will be lined with… Continue reading

One person dead, five others injured in early-morning crash in Kingston, Ont.

KINGSTON, Ont. — A man who was checking the damage on his… Continue reading

Gus is a special, collaborative art exhibit inspired by motherhood

The portrait display by mother and son is showing in Red Deer

Robotics challenge sparks student interest in Red Deer

Student-built robots compete in fun challenge

Chicken crosses B.C. road, stops traffic

Rooster makes early morning commuters wait in Maple Ridge

Red Deerian honours her brother who died in a motorcycle collision

Houaida Haddad is encouraging Red Deer residents to donate blood

Red Deer County firefighters to be recognized for Waterton help

RCMP brass will give formal recognition Monday

Ron James tries to lighten humanity’s load through humour

The comedian returns to Red Deer for shows Dec. 1 and 2

100+ Women Red Deer donate to Christmas Bureau

About $14,000 will help with Christmas hampers and toys

Semi collides with vehicle on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

Members of the Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit dealt with a call on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

After 70 years, Red Deer veteran still remembers his traumatic war experience

Frank Krepps feels lucky to have survived the Second World War

Merritt Mountie charged with assault

Charges are in relation to an incident in May at the detachment, B.C. Prosecution Service said

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month