Following a status conference on Dec. 15 when several law firms pitched for the role, U.S. District Judge David O. Carter appointed Larson LLP, led by partner Stephen G. Larson, to serve as interim co-lead counsel of the oil spill class actions against Amplify Energy Corp. along with Wylie A. Aitken of Aitken Aitken Cohn and Lexi J. Hazam of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP.
The Recorder reported that “[Judge] Carter’s order essentially grants a request from [Stephen]—described by [Stephen] as ‘somewhat unorthodox’—that sought his appointment along with [Mr.] Aitken’s . . . It also adds [Ms.] Hazam to the mix.”
More than a dozen lawsuits have been filed against Amplify Energy Corp. over the oil spill that was detected off the Orange County coast on Oct. 2. The three selected law firms “will be responsible for filing a consolidated amended class complaint or complaints on behalf of the plaintiffs,” Daily Journal reported.
“The court finds that consolidating these cases will streamline the litigation, increase efficiency, and preserve the court’s and parties’ resources,” Judge Carter’s stated in his order on Dec. 20. Daily Journal noted that “he considered factors including connection to the affected communities, experience handling class actions and similar cases, work done to identify potential claims, knowledge of applicable law, and adequate resources,” in selecting the lead attorneys.
Stephen told Daily Journal, “It is a privilege to be appointed along with the co-counsel leadership. We look forward to representing all the victims of this tragedy and making sure that we obtain not only compensation, but necessary injunctive relief to cure this problem and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Larson LLP opened an Orange County office in 2020. Partner Steven E. Bledsoe, based in Orange County, will work with Stephen, partner Rick Richmond, and associate Andrew Bedigian on the case.
Read the full articles by Meaghann M. Cuniff of The Recorder here and Gina Kim of Daily Journal here (subscriptions required).
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