• Steady bite signals fall frenzy

    Inconsistent catches through the summer made fall seem far away. But the days are shorter, the temperatures cooler, and the inshore action is improving.

    “Finally, yes,” Sonny Schindler, of Shore Thing Charters, said. “We’re finally seeing Mississippi and Louisiana limits (of speckled trout) coming in.

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  • BP: Another Shrimper Inflated Oil-Spill Damages Claim

    A special master appointed to look for fraud in BP’s $9.2 billion settlement over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill wants an Alabama commercial fisherman to return $330,332 in claim money he received based on tax returns that were never filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

    Thursday’s motion was the fourth reimbursement request former FBI director Louis Freeh has filed since he began investigating potential fraud last year. The motion asserts that Gill Johnson Sr. attached the 2008 and 2009 tax returns to claims he made last year for alleged lost oyster revenue due to the 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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  • BP Demands Release of McGladrey’s Audit of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Claims

    British Petroleum has filed a legal motion against the administrator of the claims settlement program set up to deal with victims of the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico from its Deepwater Horizon oil-drilling rig to force him to release the results of an audit by McGladrey LLP that is costing BP more than $14 million.

    The motion was filed Friday, according to a source close to BP. "After more than a year’s work and BP’s payment of more than $14 million for an independent audit of the claims program, it is unacceptable that the Claims Administrator has not disclosed any information about the audit’s findings," said a statement from BP. 

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  • Louisiana shrimp safe to eat after BP Gulf of Mexico spill, local study says

    Louisiana shrimp was safe to eat following the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a new study concluded, reaffirming previous federal and state studies. The new research focused on the Vietnamese-American community in eastern New Orleans, and said that even among frequent shrimp eaters, there are "no acute health risks or excess cancer risk."

    The study was released online on Tuesday (Oct. 21) in Environmental Heath Perspectives, a journal of the National Institutes of Health. Its lead author is Mark Wilson, a Tulane University professor who in part specializes in human health risk assessments, and environmental and genetic toxicology. The authors also included, among others, Daniel Nguyen and Tap Bui, employees of Mary Queen of Vietnam Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization in eastern New Orleans that assisted fishers affected by the oil spill.

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  • Tort Blowout Preventer; An opportunity for the Supreme Court to clarify class-action law

    By The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board

    The 2010 Gulf Coast oil spill was a disaster for local businesses and the environment but also the best thing ever to happen to the trial lawyers who continue to exploit the accident for fun and profit. Now the Supreme Court has an opening to impose discipline on the class-action lawsuit industry by forcing the tort bar to prove its claims.

    Two years after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, BP consolidated the 2,700 lawsuits that were then still outstanding after setting up a voluntary $20 billion fund to compensate shrimpers, hotels dependant on tourism and the like. The class as certified by New Orleans federal district Judge Carl Barbier became entitled to a settlement pool estimated to be $7.8 billion, and he appointed an old trail lawyer friend Patrick Juneau as claims administrator.

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  • At Chamber Legal Summit, Christie Talks Up Tort Reform

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday railing against what he said is a "cottage industry" of class action lawsuits targeting businesses, calling on President Barack Obama to help enact tort reform.

    Delivering the keynote address at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's annual Legal Reform Summit, Christie, a potential 2016 Republican candidate to succeed Obama, said the president can help address income inequality by focusing on tort reform, instead of a minimum-wage increase.

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  • High Court Won't Consider State Claims In BP Spill

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal by several Louisiana parishes asking the high court to revive their state-law claims against BP PLC and others over pollution-related wildlife damage linked to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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    A Vancleave man has lost his appeal of a 53-month prison term for fraud involving $36,300 in oil-spill recovery money he obtained through deception.

    The 5th U.S. Court of Appeals on Thursday ruled a federal judge in Gulfport gave Joseph Anthony Clements an appropriate prison term for a sophisticated scheme. Clements claimed he was a shrimp boat captain who lost his livelihood because of the 2010 oil spill and was on the verge of losing his home and vehicle.

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  • Man pleads guilty in false oil spill seafood claim

    A Louisiana man has pleaded guilty in federal court to wire fraud arising from seafood claims following the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Casey Thonn had already been ordered to repay more than $357,000 for fraudulent seafood claims in which he misrepresented his income from shrimping.

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  • 3 convicted in family-run scheme to collect $2.4 million in false BP oil spill claims

    BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - A woman, her husband and her brother have been convicted in a family-run scheme to defraud a fund established to help victims of the 2010 Gulf oil spill of more than $2 million.

    Marcella Truss and her husband Martee Ray Davis, both of Grand Bay, Ala., and Truss' brother Howard Lenard Carroway, of Mobile, were convicted on dozens of charges in federal court in Birmingham.

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