Oil-Spill Lawyers Urge Clients to Settle

A group of lawyers suing BP PLC over its Gulf oil spill is moving instead to redirect dozens of its clients to make claims to the $20 billion fund set up by BP and the Obama administration.

While hundreds of people are still suing BP in federal court, the lawyers’ move could end up robbing that ongoing litigation of the critical mass of plaintiffs that might be needed to prove broad economic losses.

The move by the lawyers—about 30 altogether—represents the first significant crack in plaintiffs’ attorneys’ plans to reap significant court victories for hundreds of people affected by the spill triggered by the April explosion that sank BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig, killing 11 workers.

Wall Street Journal
1/31/11