Transocean Ltd. settled a lawsuit filed on behalf of one of 11 crew members killed when the company’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded April 20 in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a court filing.
Karl Kleppinger Jr.’s family was one of the first to sue over deaths and injuries suffered by the 126 crew members who were on the Deepwater Horizon at the time it blew out while drilling a well for BP Plc off the Louisiana coast. The explosion caused the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, with more than 4.1 million barrels of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico.
“The Kleppingers have settled all of their claims arising out of the deaths of Karl Kleppinger Jr. against any current or possible defendants,” Steve Gordon, the family’s lawyer, said in an interview today. “The Kleppingers’ claim against BP has concluded.”
The settlement was posted today in the docket of the New Orleans federal court handling lawsuits arising from the explosion. Gordon declined to disclose the amount of the settlement or who would be paying it. The claims are resolved “against all parties they sued or could have sued,” he said.
“The Kleppingers have tried to close a very terrible chapter in their lives,” Gordon said. “It is time to move on.” Gordon also represents Transocean employees who were injured in the explosion. Those cases remain pending, he said.
The Kleppinger suit, which was filed in Texas state court, was removed to federal court in New Orleans and combined with hundreds of other lawsuits seeking compensation for personal injuries and economic damages from the rig explosion and resulting oil spill.
Guy Cantwell, a spokesman for Transocean, didn’t immediately respond to phone calls or e-mails seeking comment on the settlement of Kleppinger’s lawsuit. Transocean attorneys and Gordon signed a court filing today asking for dismissal of the family’s lawsuit because of the settlement.
Daren Beaudo, a spokesman for BP, declined to comment on the settlement.
The case is In Re: Oil spill by the Oil Rig Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, 2:10-md-2179, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans).
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