U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier last week dismissed third-party environmental claims against BP and Transocean, saying that since oil has stopped flowing from the ruptured Macondo well into the Gulf of Mexico, the suits are now irrelevant. Barbier is the judge overseeing massive rounds of litigation related to the largest oil spill in U.S. history.
''The injunction at this stage would be useless, as not only is there no ongoing release from the well, but there is also no viable offshore facility from which any release could possibly occur,'' Barbier wrote in his decision, according to Courthouse News Service.
Since claimants are now involved in the cleanup process, ruling in their favor would have no impact on the progress of cleanup efforts, Barbier wrote. More than 100,000 people have filed suits related to the spill, Courthouse News reported. Barbier noted the claims could be heard if the claimants seek non-environmental damages.
BP (BP), Europe's second-largest oil company, was the operator of the Deepwater Horizon rig. Switzerland-based Transocean (RIG), the world's largest provider of offshore drilling services, was the owner of the Deepwater Horizon.