HOUSTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. judge has decided that BP Plc was “grossly negligent” and “reckless” in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill four years ago, a ruling that could add nearly $18 billion in fines to more than $42 billion in charges the company took for the worst offshore environmental disaster in U.S. history.
BP said it would appeal Thursday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans, Louisiana, who held a trial without a jury last year to determine who was responsible for the April 20, 2010 rig explosion and spill that killed 11 workers and spewed oil for nearly three months onto the shorelines of several states.
(Reuters) – The family of a Mexican man they said was shot dead by U.S. agents on the Mexican side of the border in 2012 filed a lawsuit on Wednesday seeking damages from the United States for what the family claims was an excessive and illegal use of force.
Guillermo Arevalo Pedraza was shot from a Border Patrol boat on the Rio Grande River while his family was having a picnic on the Mexican side near Nuevo Laredo, the suit said.
(Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court ruled Tuesday in favor of environmental groups fighting to protect the site of a historic 1920s-era labor battle between miners and companies in West Virginia from being destroyed by modern-day coal mining.
The Sierra Club and a coalition of local historical associations sued the government for removing the Blair Mountain Battlefield in southern West Virginia from the National Register of Historic Places in 2009, a move the group said would open up the area to large-scale surface mining.
NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As President Barack Obama prepares to announce major immigration policy changes, conservative attorney Kris Kobach is fighting a case in federal court he says has the potential to “torpedo” the president’s plans.
Kobach, the Republican secretary of state of Kansas, is an architect of laws in several states to combat illegal immigration. He is also the most prominent figure among a small group of lawyers working to punch legal holes in Obama’s immigration policies.
NEW YORK, Aug 1 (Reuters) – For a handful of U.S. companies
that have exclusive or longstanding contracts with federal
agencies dealing with illegal immigrants, the recent wave of
children crossing the southern border with Mexico is a business
Private prison companies Geo Group and competitor
Corrections Corporation of America, for example, stand
to gain if Congress approves any emergency funding for family
detention facilities. The two companies have thousands of
unoccupied beds in their prisons and jails that potentially
could be modified to house immigrant families.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A federal judge ruled on Monday in favor of two tobacco companies that challenged a 2011 U.S. Food and Drug Administration committee report on menthol cigarettes, finding three of the panel’s members had conflicts of interests.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon ordered the FDA reconstitute the committee and barred the agency from using the panel’s findings, which said removing menthol cigarettes from the market would benefit public health.
July 15 (Reuters) – A Texas judge upheld a $3 million jury
verdict by ruling in favor of a family who claimed that oil and
gas drilling near their land made them sick, in a landmark case
hailed as a victory by anti-fracking activists.
Last week’s ruling, confirmed by lawyers on Tuesday, is the
latest step in a three-year case that began when Bob and Lisa
Parr filed suit against a handful of oil companies claiming that
fumes from drilling around their 40-acre (16-hectare) ranch
exposed them and their livestock to hazardous gases and
June 30 (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday
declined to hear a challenge to California’s landmark low-carbon
fuel standard, in a blow to out-of-state ethanol and gasoline
producers that say the rule unfairly discriminates against their
A coalition of fuel makers, led by the Rocky Mountain
Farmers Union, a grower of corn and soybeans for ethanol in
western states, brought a lawsuit to overturn a 2009 rule
mandating cuts in carbon emissions.
June 25 (Reuters) – Fuel producers are urging the U.S.
Supreme Court to hear a challenge to California’s landmark low
carbon fuel standard, the first of a series of cases seeking to
roll back state renewable energy laws around the country.
The court could decide in the next few days whether to take
up a lawsuit brought by a coalition of ethanol and gasoline
producers trying to overturn a 2009 California rule mandating
cuts to carbon emissions.
NEW YORK, June 2 (Reuters) – Questions about how to apply
securities law to activist investors could complicate any
potential insider trading case against billionaire Carl Icahn,
pro-golfer Phil Mickelson and Las Vegas gambler William Walters,
legal experts said.
U.S. federal investigators are looking into whether
Mickelson and Walters may have traded illegally on private
information provided by hedge fund manager Icahn, a source
familiar with the matter said on Friday. None of the three men
has been accused of any wrongdoing, the source said.