Judge seizes jurisidiction over BP’s $16 billion oil disaster trust fund — claims of independence were misleading

Barbier’s order takes control of BP trust fund, Louisiana Record, February 7, 2011:

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier seized jurisdiction over a $16 billion trust fund for oil spill damage claims. …

Barbier wrote that “district courts are free to prohibit false or misleading speech by a defendant and may restrict a defendant from using methods of speech that are inherently coercive or prone to abuse.” …

“If potential class members have received inaccurate, confusing or misleading communications, the court may take action to cure the miscommunication and to prevent similar problems in the future. …

“The clear record in this case demonstrates that any claim of the GCCF’s neutrality and independence is misleading to putative class members and is a direct threat to this ongoing litigation, as claimants must sign a full release against all potential defendants before obtaining final payments,” Barbier wrote.

Read the report here.

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