Since my last post I identified three more Gulf Oil Spill lawsuits filed in federal court in Mississippi. The three are:
- Nguyen v. Transocean et al.—a class action filed Monday on behalf of shrimpers, fishermen, etc. Plaintiff lawyers are Patrick Sheehan and Hayes Johnson of Biloxi and Robert Gambrell of Oxford.
- Cajun Maide v. BP, et al.—a class action filed Friday with a class as wide as the Gulf. This case has a big and interesting group of Plaintiff lawyers. The group includes the Barrett firm out of Lexington, a bunch of lawyers from all over the country and the Daniel Coker law firm from Mississippi. Daniel Coker is traditionally an insurance defense firm and I was surprised to see them show up on the plaintiff side of this case. But down the road in the oil spill litigation I expect to see insurance companies suing the oil companies to recoup money paid in claims. So Daniel Coker’s traditional client base will probably be adverse to the oil companies.
- Trieu v. BP et al.— a class action filed Friday with the class consisting of people and companies in the fishing industry. Plaintiff’s counsel is Robert Wiygul of Ocean Springs.
Some plaintiff lawyers believe that all of the filed suits are premature and that people must first give notice to the responsible party under the Oil Pollution Act. Most people interpret that to mean BP because it is their oil. But I have read quotes where BP is blaming Transocean or other contractors who operated the rig. BP may have a point as to fault, but BP is likely responsible under the Oil Pollution Act.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuits are suing BP and the contractors such as Transocean. Transocean is a deep water driller whose stock (symbol RIG) has gone in the tank since the explosion. Plaintiff’s lawyers will love the fact that the defendants are pointing the finger at each other, since it will make it easier to prove their cases where defendants are blaming each other.