Monday, December 19, 2011

Lessons of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster

This New York Times Editorial (December 19, 2011) discusses a new report from the National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council on the Deepwater Horizon disaster finding that there were a series of poor decisions.  The Editoral concludes that if drilling is to continue, the industry and the regulators have to start doing things differently, including for focus on preparedness and oversight.

The American Bar Association's Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section's Disaster Initiative will put on a program on the Deepwater Horizon disaster and other disasters caused by negligence at the ABA's mid-year meeting in New Orleans on February 3, 2012, at 2:00 p.m.  Entitled "BP and Beyond:  Litigation and Claims Following Mass Disaster," the panel includes Allan Kanner, Kanner & Whiteley, L.L.C., New Orleans, LA, as moderator and features Professor Francis McGovern, Duke University, Honorable Lee Rosenthal, United States District Court, Houston, TX, and Theodore R. Henke, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, The OIL Group of Companies, Hamilton, Bermuda.  This program will discuss litigation and claims arising out of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that occurred in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil spill resulted from an explosion that killed eleven men and injured several more. The after-effects of the spill were extensive and resulted in significant litigation as well as the creation of a compensation fund, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, that is funded by BP and administered by Kenneth Feinberg. This panel will address the claims administration process and litigation arising from the spill, including a look at insurance coverage issues.  For more information on this program, and on all the TIPS Disaster Initiative programs, click here.

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