Originally posted by Kalyn Belsha - Beaumont Enterprise - October 15, 2010
BEAUMONT, Texas - A federal judge in New Orleans has selected a Beaumont law firm to assist in compiling evidence, documents and depositions in the massive federal lawsuit against companies accused of causing the largest oil spill in U.S. history.
Several law firms, including Brent Coon and Associates, will participate in the complicated evidence-gathering process, which is expected to last well into 2011 and produce tens of millions of documents.
An estimated 100,000 civil lawsuits were filed related to the explosion and spill. To streamline the effort, more than 300 lawsuits with similar complaints were consolidated and transferred in August to New Orleans' U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier.
During the evidence-gathering process, the law firms will seek to determine all companies that are potentially liable for the explosion and subsequent spill. If the case went to trial, it would be up to a jury to determine what percentage of liability, if any, each company should assume.
Coon's firm was selected to help gather evidence in part because it represented many of the claims against BP after the 2005 Texas City refinery explosion that killed 15 and injured 170.