Texas lawyer seeks hold on BP spill suit
NEW ORLEANS - A Texas lawyer being sued by oil giant BP over allegations that he falsely claimed to represent thousands of deckhands who lost money in the 2010 Gulf oil spill has asked a federal court to delay the lawsuit while a criminal investigation plays out.
Friday's filing on behalf of Mikal Watts says federal officials have seized and copied material from Watts' law firm regarding oil spill claims. Watts' attorney, Robert McDuff, says in the filing that there is the prospect for an indictment of people involved with the case in the federal Southern District of Mississippi within two months.
BP PLC's December lawsuit alleges that many of the Social Security numbers on Watts' client list were phony.
McDuff has strongly denied that Watts engaged in fraud or identity theft.