No expert found co-defendant contributed to Gulf oil spill

Kyle Barnett Feb. 16, 2012, 2:00pm


NEW ORLEANS (Legal Newsline) - Documents pertaining to the dismissal of Swiss oil rig equipment manufacturer Weatherford have been unsealed by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in the ongoing BP oil spill litigation.

Weatherford was the manufacturer of a float collar used in the failed cementing job on the Macondo well that led to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Although a previous government investigation into the matter reported the float collar may have been defective, Weatherford claimed it was inconclusive as to whether any possible problems were related to the manufacture of the device or to its misuse and mistreatment by those who were using it.

The piece of equipment in question was ultimately sealed with the well.

Unsealed documents reveal that none of the 50 experts in the trial found Weatherford caused or contributed to the accident. In addition, none of the parties involved in the trial opposed the motion for dismissal.

Barbier wrote in a motion to unseal the documents that they had never been intended to be sealed for the long-term, but were classified as "highly confidential" and "confidential" for the purpose of allowing a more efficient process of revealing evidence by both the plaintiffs and the defendants.

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