Oil spill legal mess likely one of costliest ever

Artikel  zu den Kosten von BP Klagen im Vergleich zu anderen Sammelklagen. Eventuell wäre der Titel „Das große Fressen“ passender. Anwaltskosten geraten da schnell einmal außer Relation zum Ergebnis – je nachdem auf welcher Seite man steht. Washington Post | July 27, 2010:  BP PLC and the other companies involved in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill are faced with fast-multiplying lawsuits that will provoke one of the most drawn-out and costliest legal battles in U.S. history, one that could easily consume the $20 billion set aside by BP to pay for the disaster, according to legal experts and attorneys nationwide.

Auszugsweise: ……. BP’s liability is already larger than the Exxon Valdez case, which ultimately led to a $500 million payout to affected fishermen and residents. Other large „mass tort“ cases include drug maker Merck & Co.’s agreement in 2008 to a $4.85 billion settlement of some 50,000 cases stemming from its withdrawn painkiller Vioxx. Also, Pharmaceutical company Wyeth initially settled claims over its diet drug fen-phen for $3.75 billion in 1999, but that soared to more than $21 billion by 2004 as more claims were filed.

Asbestos, which has caused widespread lung disease and other ailments, is the longest-running mass lawsuit case in U.S. history, costing a variety of companies more than $70 billion and involving more than 730,000 claims since the 1970s, according to an analysis by the nonprofit Rand Corp. And tobacco companies have been slapped with thousands of lawsuits over the dangers of cigarette smoking. They won most of them until the major companies agreed in 1998 to a 25-year, $206 billion settlement with 46 states who sued over the costs to their health programs.


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