The Gulf Oil Spill -- the largest oil spill and one of the largest industrial accidents in history -- has already resulted in hundreds of lawsuits seeking billions of dollars in damages. Wrongful death and workers' compensation-type claims for those who were injured or killed in the rig explosion were only the first. They have been followed by lost revenue claims by thousands of Gulf Coast businesses, shareholder lawsuits against BP, and cleanup claims by the federal government.
Most of the lawsuits have been filed in federal courts in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida, but economic loss and environmental damage claims have been filed in federal courts in a dozen states. Most of the cases name BP, Transocean Ltd., Halliburton Energy Services and Cameron International Corp. as co-defendants.
As if it weren't enough to have hundreds of lawsuits filed in at least a dozen jurisdictions, eight federal judges in the area have said they can't take on any oil spill-related cases because they have potential conflicts of interest.
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