Oil Spill Crude Disaster

Jan 7, 2014 5:05 PM by AP

Fishermen sue Texas lawyer in BP claims dispute

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A group of Vietnamese fishermen has sued a Texas lawyer over claims he misappropriated the identities of thousands of deckhands to secure a lucrative appointment to a committee of attorneys for victims of BP's 2010 Gulf oil spill.

A class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court alleges that San Antonio-based lawyer Mikal Watts failed to file claims for at least 98 percent of the more than 44,000 clients he claimed to represent after the nation's worst offshore oil spill.

BP filed its own lawsuit against Watts in December. The company asked for a suspension of settlement payments from a $2.3 billion fund for compensating seafood-related claims.

Watts resigned last year from his court-appointed position on the committee of plaintiffs' attorneys who brokered a multibillion-dollar settlement with BP.

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