Federal Court Orders Arbitration of Claims in BP Oil Spill Case

Disputing Blog by Karl Bayer, Victoria VanBuren, and Holly Hayes

As readers may already know, litigation surrounding the “Deep Water Horizon” oil spill is well underway. In a later twist, a federal trial court in Louisiana granted a motion to stay litigation between Anadarko and BP and ordered the parties to arbitrate pursuant to an arbitration clause found in their Joint Operating Agreement. See In RE: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig.

BP had filed a motion to compel arbitration, however, Anadarko responded that BP had waived its right to arbitrate by defending the lawsuit in court. The court found that BP’s actions – examining a single Anadarko employee, serving three individual requests for production on other parties related to Anadarko, asking a few dozen questions at depositions of other parties related to Anadarko, and identifying four Anadarko witnesses on a non-binding list of potential witnesses- did not substantially invoke the judicial process. The court, accordingly, stayed Anadarko’s claims against BP and sent the parties to arbitration.
Stay tuned.

                        author

Victoria VanBuren

Victoria VanBuren holds a B.B.A. in Finance from Southern Methodist University and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law.  She focuses on intellectual property law and arbitration. Known as a "worker bee," she is an active legal blogger and is currently pursuing a degree in computer science.… MORE >

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