Local lawyer joins national committeeFeb 16th, 2011 | By Terri Sercovich | Category: news
A Belle Chasse lawyer was recently selected to join the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, made up of only 15 attorneys from across the country, in the legal fight against BP and any other parties involved in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Philip Cossich, Jr., of Cossich, Sumich, Parsiola and Taylor LLC, was one of the hundreds of attorneys who applied to join the committee, and one of the 15 chosen by the judge overseeing spill-related lawsuits, Carl J. Barbier.
The federal court consolidated all litigation from the oil spill, and lawyers were appointed to the steering committee to manage all the claims, said Cossich.
Before being accepted to the committee, Cossich already represented Fulton Seafood – one of the biggest Gulf Coast shrimp purchasing and processing companies – as well as Omega Protein and Daybrook Fisheries, which together make up the second largest commercial fishery in the nation. He also represented enough oyster farmers in Plaquemines and St. Bernard Parishes to farm 10,000 acres of oyster beds.
“My clients are at the heart of the most seriously affected area,” wrote Cossich on his steering committee application. “This area was first hit, hardest hit and will most likely be the last to recover. Because of the magnitude of the damages sustained by these clients, I have already committed myself to being significantly involved in this litigation.”
Cossich listed his hometown as another factor that would make him an asset to the committee.
“I also possess a unique attribute that further distinguishes me from the pool of applicants,” he wrote.
“Plaquemines Parish is my home and community, and I have a vested interest in seeing my community recover from this disaster. I am not one who will disappear at the next opportunity to pursue a California train derailment, a Texas industrial accident or a prescription drug recall.”
Cossich said the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee has been taking depositions nearly every day and called the team effort being exhibited, “One of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen.”
The committee is also responsible for providing common benefits, and has hired some of the best experts to gather information, said Cossich.
April 20, 2011 is the deadline for anyone to file a claim due to the oil spill, and Cossich said the test trials will begin in June.
“This is very good for our community,” said Cossich about the cases being heard so soon.
The massive spill began on April 20, 2010 after an explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, owned and operated by Transocean. The oil hemorrhage continued to spew into the Gulf of Mexico for 112 days before the broken pipe was sealed.
The other attorneys joining Cossich on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee include: Brian Barr of Pensacola, Ala.; Jeffrey Breit of Norfolk, Va; Elizabeth Cabrasar of San Francisco, Cali.; Robert Cunningham of Mobile, Ala.; Alphonso Espy of Jackson, Miss.; Calvin Fayard of Denham Springs, La.; Ervin Gonzalez of Coral Gables, Fla.; Robin Greenwald of New York, NY; Rhon Jones of Montgomery, Ala.; Matthew Lundy of Lake Charles, La.; Michael Palmintier of Baton Rouge, La.; Pail Sterbcow of New Orleans, La.; Scott Summy of Dallas, Texas; and Mikal Watts of Houston, Texas.