May 19, 2010 10:41 AM by Sharlee Jacobs
MIAMI (AP) - An attorney is asking a federal judicial panel to
quickly consolidate more than 100 lawsuits filed against BP and
other companies responsible for the massive Gulf oil spill.
Louisiana lawyer Daniel Becnel says legal chaos could break out
in five Gulf Coast states if the lawsuits aren't combined. Becnel
has asked the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in
Washington to quickly reconsider whether to order the cases
The panel has indicated it will not decide until July.
Many lawsuits are potential class actions that could include
tens of thousands of plaintiffs. They've been filed by fishermen,
seafood businesses, hotels, restaurants, resorts and other
interests claiming economic losses from the oil spill.