New Orleans, La. – The judicial panel that selected the location said New Orleans is closest to the geographic and psychological center of gravity for the litigation. Some wanted it heard in Miami, others in Mississippi. Lawsuits against BP and several other companies involved include family of the 11 workers killed in the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion in April. Other lawsuits have been filed by fishermen, shrimpers, hotel owners and others claiming they've lost money because of the spill. The same judge who ruled against the government's deepwater exploratory-drilling moratorium will hear most of the cases. Several federal judges in New Orleans have removed themselves from the litigation because of ties to the oil and gas industry.
For NPR News, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans.