MDL – better late than never

In BP Exploration v. Johnson, the plaintiff in a Deepwater Horizon case sued in Texas to enforce an alleged settlement agreement.  No. 12-20512 (Aug. 8, 2013, unpublished).  BP asked the MDL panel to consolidate the case with the other Deepwater Horizon matters in the Eastern District of Louisiana.  Before the panel could rule, however, the Texas judge asked for summary judgment briefing and granted summary judgment to the defense on the ground that no agreement had been created.  The Fifth Circuit vacated the judgment and remanded with instructions to transfer to the MDL case, noting the complexity of the Deepwater Horizon litigation, and more generally: “It is typical in such scenarios for the court before which the tort claims are pending to determine whether a binding settlement agreement has arisen, as that court is already familiar with the parties and the claims and the proceedings.”

Recent Related Posts