On August 10th, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation entered an order consolidating the Deepwater Horizon litigation, involving over 300 cases, to the Eastern District of Louisiana before Judge Carl Barbier, who has been asked to serve as transferee judge. Although BP supported centralization of the cases, it proposed the Southern District of Texas as the transferee court. The JPML's opinion can be found at the following link:
Interestingly, the person appointed by the Obama Administration to administer oil spill claims, Kenneth Feinberg, endorsed the current claims process over litigation: “If you have a claim, you would be well advised to file it with this new process. You will get quicker more generous treatment than if you file a lawsuit.”
What do you think will be the most effective way of resolving claims arising out of the Deepwater Horizon incident: the claims process or litigation? Maybe more importantly, what should be the government's role, if any, in encouraging resolution of Deepwater Horizon claims?