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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