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In Re: Deepwater Horizon Class Action Settlement | Fifth Circuit Affirms Order Approving Settlement and Certifying Class

In Re: Deepwater Horizon Settlement Order Affirmed on Appeal By 5th Circuit Court of Appeals

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has affirmed the district court’s opinion in In re Oil Spill by Oil Rig Deepwater Horizon in Gulf of Mexico, 910 F. Supp. 2d 891 (E.D. La. 2012) certifying a class and approving a class action settlement of the In Re: Deepwater Horizon lawsuits relating to the 2010 explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon, an offshore drilling rig, and the consequent discharge of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

The appeals court held that the district court was correct to conclude that the “applicable requirements of Rule 23 are satisfied in this case.”  The In Re: Deepwater Horizon Class Action appeals court found that the district court’s certification of the Deepwater Horizon settlement class did not violate Rule 23(a)(2)’s commonality requirement since “after reviewing expert evidence, the district court found that numerous factual and legal issues were central to the validity of all the class members’ claims.” The court also found that the court did not abuse its discretion in ruling that the predominance and adequacy requirements of Rule 23 were sufficiently met.

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