Deepwater Horizon

News & Analysis as of

Court Has Inherent Authority to Supervise CSSP, Including Sanctioning Attorneys for Ethical Violations and Misconduct

On June 2, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit addressed another matter of alleged attorney misconduct in a Deepwater Horizon claims case and the District Court’s authority to impose sanctions for...more

Louisiana First Circuit Finds Appellate Jurisdiction Lacking, Declines to Address Merits of Appeal Involving Claims Related to...

Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal again finds that it lacked jurisdiction over an appeal taken from a partial judgment that was not designated as final pursuant to Article 1915(B) of the Louisiana Code of Civil...more

Feds Renew Focus on Worker Safety and Individual Accountability

Massey Energy CEO Donald Blankenship reported to a California prison on May 12 to begin serving a one-year sentence for willfully violating mine safety standards. His conviction was related to the deadliest United States...more

Environmental Notes - May 2016

The news has been full of stories and articles concerning Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR), also referred to as coal ash. CCR became a hot topic in 2008 when a coal ash pond at a utility plant in Tennessee spilled more than 5...more

Second Circuit Issues Amended Order Affirming Dismissal in Transocean

On April 29, the United States Court of Appeals entered an amended order (previously decided on March 17, 2016) that affirmed the decision of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in DeKalb...more

New Offshore Well Control Regulations Unveiled to Mixed Reviews

The U.S. Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement announced final well control regulations for offshore drilling last week. The rules will purportedly make offshore drilling safer and...more

Well Control Final Rule

The U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (“BSEE”) has released its final Well Control Rule for off-shore rigs (“Rule”). The Rule is intended to reduce the risk of an offshore blowout,...more

Interior Releases Final Rule for Blowout Prevention Systems and Well Control in Offshore Drilling Operations

On April 14, 2016, the Department of the Interior (DOI), through the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), released a final rule establishing requirements for certain offshore oil and gas drilling,...more

The Well Control Final Rule Is Here, Finally

Action Item: The recently published Well Control Rule will require significant changes to Blow-Out Preventer (“BOP”) systems and well operations. Stakeholders in offshore oil and gas operations should carefully evaluate the...more

BP, Executive Pay and the Surfin’ Bird

Surf music is certainly an under-rated rock and roll genre. One of my favorites is The Trashmen’s Surfin’ Bird. It reached Number 4 on the Billboard Chart in 1963. I happened to hear it recently when I was reading about some...more

Article: Dismissal of Charges in the British-Petroleum (BP) Deepwater Horizon Indictment … or the Over-Criminalization of the BP...

On April 20, 2010, just before 10 p.m., the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig suddenly exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, 48 miles off the Louisiana coast. Tragically, eleven men on the vessel died. Oil ultimately flowed from the...more

Business Litigation Report - February 2016

Inter Partes Review Victory for Celgene - Quinn Emanuel recently won an inter partes review (“IPR”) of a patent covering the active ingredient in firm client Celgene Corporation’s (“Celgene”) blockbuster cancer therapy,...more

In Deepwater Horizon Insurance Coverage Dispute, Fifth Circuit Affirms Favorable Ruling For Policyholders And Certifies Unfair...

In the latest development in the insurance coverage litigation arising out of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed a $50 million finding of coverage, holding that only the...more

Passive Owner Fined Nearly $160MM for DWH Spill

One unanswered question from the Deepwater Horizon litigation was the Clean Water Act civil penalty liability that would be imposed – or not – on Anadarko Petroleum, a passive owner of a 24% interest in the BP lease. On...more

Deepwater Horizon Update: Fifth Circuit Rules in Favor of Cameron on Insurance Issues

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently issued an opinion ruling in favor of Cameron International Corporation and certifying a question to the Texas Supreme Court on issues arising out of an insurance...more

BP has settled its Clean Water Act penalty claims, but important questions remain to be decided

The United States and BP lodged their proposed settlement of the remaining claims by the US in connection with the Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill with the US District Court today. Comments to the Justice Department are...more

Corporate Wrongdoing: More Civil and Criminal Liability for Individuals?

The US Department of Justice has issued a memorandum to all of its prosecuting Divisions, directing changes to the principles applied by DOJ in prosecuting civilly or criminally individuals who engage in corporate misconduct....more

Policyholder Insider Quarterly

Five Lessons Health Care Companies Should Learn From Cyberattacks - The American health care industry is under attack by sophisticated hackers seeking access to electronic medical records. Since January, three health...more

BP Reaches Agreement with Gulf States to Pay Historic $18.5 Billion Settlement over Deepwater Horizon

On July 2, 2015, BP reached an agreement in principle with five Gulf States to settle claims against the company arising from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. This marks the largest environmental settlement in...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2015

Environmental and Policy Focus - BP pays record $18.7 billion to settle claims in Gulf oil spill Bloomberg - Jul 2: BP Plc reached a record $18.7 billion agreement to settle all federal and state claims from the 2010...more

Recent Maritime Cases Illustrate the Different Legal Risks Involved with Conducting Offshore Oil and Gas Operations

In May 2015 a U.S. District Court and U.S. Court of Appeals each issued opinions that address important legal issues concerning risk management in the offshore energy industry. In Marquette Transportation Co. Gulf-Inland, LLC...more

Dispersants...Will We Ever Be Able to Use Them Again?

On January 22, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Proposed Rule on dispersants. The Proposed Rule drastically changes the EPA’s approach to dispersants and could imperil proven and effective means of...more

Five Years in the Making: Improved Safety for Offshore Oil and Gas Development

Sometimes new regulations come out of nowhere. And sometimes it is just a matter of time. Last week’s unveiling of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (“BSEE”) offshore blowout preventer and well control...more

BSEE and DOI Take Action on Five-Year Anniversary of Deepwater Horizon

Action Item: BSEE has proposed significant changes to BOP systems and well operations in light of the five-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon incident. Stakeholders in offshore oil and gas operations should carefully...more

Fifth Circuit Rules Only a Seaman Can Commit Seaman’s Manslaughter

A recent decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Court serves as a good reminder that criminal statutes say only what they say, and that it is up to the legislature to revise statutes to expand their scope...more

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