Judge Carl Barbier has dismissed claims against M-I LLC, a BP contractor, and Cameron International, the company that made a safety device on the rig that exploded, triggering the oil spill. The judge’s ruling involved only the claim against Cameron for punitive damages. Judge Barbier ruled, after the Plaintiffs rested their case on March 20th, there was no evidence that BP’s drilling fluids contractor M-I LLC made any decision that led to the blowout of BP’s Macondo well. All claims against M-I were dismissed. Judge Barbier also ruled that punitive damages could not be recovered against Cameron International, the manufacturer of the blowout preventer on the rig. The judge stated in open court that he had “not heard or seen evidence that would in any way support a finding of gross negligence or willful misconduct on the part of Cameron.”
Judge Barbier didn’t agree with similar requests from the lawyers representing BP and Halliburton and Transocean, the giant oil company’s main partners in the Macondo operation. The Plaintiffs will be allowed to go forward with all claims against those Defendants, including the request for punitive damages. That’s great news for the Plaintiffs in this very important case. The Defendants are putting on their cases now.
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