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Federal judge oks jury trials for BP oil spill medical lawsuits

A federal judge has ruled that oil spill cleanup workers with legal claims against BP for medical problems can have their cases presented in front of a jury.

04/28/2015 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

New Orleans – A federal judged recently ruled that individuals who file legal claims for medical damages linked to alleged injuries sustained in working on cleanup efforts following the BP oil spill can have their cases heard before a jury. In 2012, a medical settlement was reached that was designed to pay cleanup workers and others faced with certain health conditions as a result of the 2010 Gulf oil spill. Claimants were also provided the option of filing a separate lawsuit against the oil giant in the event that they developed cancer or a chronic condition.  

According to an AP report, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier determined Monday that the terms of the settlement did not specify whether cases that met the criteria for the litigation option were required to be tried before a jury or judge. The judge also rejected the argument made by BP that in accordance with maritime law, jury trials were prohibited in the cases.

Geoff Morrell, a spokesman for BP said in response to the judge’s decision in an email on Tuesday, “BP disagrees with the Court's ruling and is considering its options.”

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