NEW ORLEANS — The federal judge who presided over the trial of a former BP engineer found guilty of obstructing justice in the government's investigation of the Deepwater Horizon disaster has denied a defense motion to disqualify him from the case.
In a strongly worded Feb. 13 order, U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. blasted a potential conflict-of-interest claim raised Kurt Mix's attorneys. They said the judge was tainted by the fact that he filed a claim against BP seeking payment, including punitive damages, for oil damage to his Grand Isle fishing camp after the 2010 spill.
The New Orleans Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1muicj4) Duval's ruling called the argument "naive at best and disingenuous at its worst."
Mix, a former BP engineer who calculated how much oil was gushing into the Gulf of Mexico after the Macondo well blew out, was found guilty in December of one count of obstructing justice for deleting a string of text messages in an alleged effort to hamper the government's criminal investigation of the deadly disaster.
In his order, Duval said his claim in BP's civil litigation had nothing to do with Mix's case. "Simply because some of the same facts are adduced at two trials does not make the outcome in one trial affect the other," he wrote.
"A guilty verdict in the Mix trial means nothing in the Deepwater Horizon matter. His actions are removed in time from the issues in the civil trial," Duval continued. "The actions concerning fraudulent flow rate occurred from April through August of 2010. Mr. Mix's deletions occurred in October of 2010, after the flow had ended."
Duval is slated to hear defense motions on March 13 to acquit Mix or hold a new trial.
Mix's attorneys have asked the judge to vacate the jury's Dec. 18 decision, alleging misconduct because one juror said in an interview after the trial that another juror acknowledged overhearing a conversation in the courthouse elevator that made it easier to render a guilty verdict.
Love your take. I would like to add ( have a look at my previous BP posts) - the Gumps are looking to make an easy income and add to that the local government (as per the rules of the campaigners - you have to be really rich to get elected, so must replenish you reduced wealth that got you there in the first place) and that made BP an opportunistic source of income. Glad they are fighting back.. Just another point - will the yanks be prepared to compensate the rest of the world as they are by far the biggest polluters. Unfortunate that the biggest economy in the world have 3rd class morals..
Datafeed and UK data supplied by NBTrader and Digital Look.
While London South East do their best to maintain the high quality of the information displayed on this site,
we cannot be held responsible for any loss due to incorrect information found here. All information is provided free of charge, 'as-is', and you use it at your own risk.
The contents of all 'Chat' messages should not be construed as advice and represent the opinions of the authors, not those of London South East Limited, or its affiliates.
London South East does not authorise or approve this content, and reserves the right to remove items at its discretion.