Case Studies

Complex Multidistrict Litigation: BP Oil Spill


IDC Buyer Case Study

This IDC Buyer Case Study profiles the strategies employed by the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee (PSC) in the lawsuit related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to address its eDiscovery data management challenge, primarily focusing on its use of the iCONECT nXT platform to address the scale, performance, granular security, and complex business workflow requirements. This oil spill is commonly referred to as the BP (British Petroleum) oil spill. IDC interviewed Avansic: eDiscovery & Digital Forensics, the PSC's eDiscovery and litigation support consultants.

Situation Overview

On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon exploded off the coast of Louisiana, killing 11 men and injuring many others. Experts estimate that close to 5 million barrels of oil gushed from the seabed and into the Gulf, making it the worst oil spill in history. Deepwater Horizon was an ultra-deepwater, semi-submersible offshore oil rig owned by Transocean and leased to BP from 2001 to 2013.

The catastrophic event resulted in the filing of thousands of lawsuits from businesses and individuals whose livelihoods were adversely impacted. Families and individuals in the Gulf region of the United States also filed lawsuits over the health hazards posed by the chemicals used to disperse and clean up the oil spill. It is estimated that over 116,000 individuals and businesses sued the owners and operators of Deepwater Horizon. The U.S. Department of Justice is also seeking damages and penalties under the Oil Pollution Act and the Clean Water Act. The five states on the Gulf (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Texas) are suing over the damage to their environment and economies.

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