USA: Cameron Intl. appeals trial plan set to determine which companies are to blame for Deepwater Horizon oil spill, spill victims oppose appeal

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Article
27 December 2011

Cameron Loses Appeal to Scuttle BP Gulf Spill Trial Plan [USA]

Author: Margaret Cronin Fisk, Bloomberg

Cameron International...lost its appeal to derail the February nonjury trial over which companies should be blamed for the 2010 BP...oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit rejected Cameron’s claim that U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier wrongly cited maritime law to allow him to conduct a nonjury trial over liability for the incident. Cameron contended that claims against the company fall under the federal Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, which allows for a jury trial. “The district court did not clearly err in concluding that the limitation proceeding is within the court’s admiralty jurisdiction,” the three-judge panel said in a one-paragraph decision...The court rejected review of other issues raised by Cameron. Cameron asked the appeals court to throw out the existing trial plan and rule that the company has a right to a trial before a jury. Yesterday’s ruling removes a possible obstacle to the nonjury trial before Barbier that is scheduled to begin Feb. 27 in New Orleans to determine liability and apportion fault...Cameron...said the trial plan violates its constitutional rights. [refers to Transocean]

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Article
14 December 2011

Cameron Appeals BP Gulf Spill Trial Plan, Wants Case Before Jury [USA]

Author: Margaret Cronin Fisk, Laurel Brubaker Calkins, Bloomberg

Cameron International...told a federal appeals court its right to a jury trial would be infringed under a plan to have a judge determine which companies should be blamed for the 2010 BP...oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Cameron, which made the blow-out prevention equipment used for the Macondo well, asked the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans to throw out the existing trial plan and rule that claims against the company should be tried before a jury. U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier, who is overseeing much of the spill litigation, has scheduled a nonjury trial for Feb. 27 in New Orleans to determine liability and apportion fault...“The proceeding envisioned by the district court’s plan is not a ‘trial’ as it is known in Anglo-American law,” Cameron, a defendant in hundreds of lawsuits over the explosion and subsequent oil spill, said in a court filing...Lawyers for spill victims...opposed Cameron’s appeal. [also refers to Transocean, Halliburton]

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