BP scores two legal victories

Judge throws out racketeering claims and sets aside another lawsuit

BP achieved two legal wins on Friday when a federal judge in New Orleans threw out racketeering claims in one lawsuit against the oil company and put another lawsuit against the company on hold.

A group of plaintiffs had brought claims against BP under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), saying the company defrauded regulators with regard to the safety of its drilling operations and emergency-response plans. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier said the plaintiffs, which included homeowners and businesses, had no proof that the 2010 gulf oil explosion and spill had caused them direct harm in a way that would support their claims under RICO and dismissed the case.

Judge Barbier also set aside another lawsuit against BP in which partner company Anadarko Petroleum Corp. claimed it had no fault in the 2010 explosion or spill. The company sued in April after BP had asked it to assist with cleanup costs, which have so far amounted to about $42 billion. Judge Barbier put Anadarko’s lawsuit on hold because the companies had previously entered an agreement that disputes be arbitrated.

Read more about BP litigation.

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