Recovery of destroyed evidence in BP-Halliburton oil explosion

Excerpts from a column by Bill Murray and Andy Thibault

Ricky Lynn Morgan, a cement expert for Halliburton, was surrounded by high-powered lawyers representing more than half a dozen companies, the U.S. Justice Department and the state of Louisiana. The conference room on the 11th floor of the Pan-American building where they met on Oct. 17, 2011, is a short stroll from the New Orleans Superdome.

The legal fees generated that day would make a nice down payment for a house. The result of Ricky Lynn Morgan’s deposition could amount to billions of dollars.

At issue is the quality of cement used to seal BP’s well, which exploded off the Louisiana coast in April 2010, killing 11 workers and spewing about five million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. BP is fighting Halliburton and contractors including the rig owner, Transocean, over liability for some of the damages. This case is known as Oil Spill By The Oil Rig Deepwater Horizon In The Gulf Of Mexico On April 20, 2010. Presiding for the Eastern District of Louisiana is U.S. Judge Carl Barbier …

… BP is seeking an adverse finding of fact by the judge, which could swing the trial in BP’s favor. Trial is scheduled for February 2012. BP has also asked the judge to order Halliburton to deliver a computer used to produce 3D modeling results to an independent forensic firm …

… We believe a competent electronic forensic firm probably could recover the missing 3D images or modeling results. There is a possibility, if not a likelihood that the model or models were shared and viewed by more than one person. Screen captures of the model or models and other related data might be stored in any number of places …

Read the full article at the New Haven CT Register.

Andy Thibault blogs at Cool Justice Report, and is a semi-retired author, private investigator, and pro boxing judge. This is his first post here. Welcome, Andy!

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