Florida Record

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Federal judge awards $4,080 in attorney fees to BP in Deepwater Horizon cleanup worker's case

Federal Court

By Marian Johns | Jul 28, 2019


FORT LAUDERDALE — A federal judge has awarded BP $4,080 in attorney fees in a case involving a man who alleges he suffered injuries while working on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill cleanup efforts.

According to the July 2 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida Fort Lauderdale Division filing, defendants BP Exploration & Production Inc. and BP America Production Company petitioned the court for attorney fees in a case filed by plaintiff Alejandro Nelson.

Nelson, filed a personal injury suit against BP earlier this year in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana but failed to respond to a March deadline after BP filed a motion to compel discovery, which the court granted. BP then filed an additional motion to compel in April in which it requested attorney fees with Nelson again failing to respond. 

The court reviewed the request for "reasonable attorney fees" that includes 9.6 hours at $500 per hour for work done by attorney Mihai Vrasmasu, a partner at Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP in Miami. 

U.S. Magistrate Judge Alicia Valle concluded that based on Vrasmasu's experience, $425 per hour "is a more reasonable rate of pay" for work done on the second motion to compel and found that 9.6 hours was "reasonable."

The court awarded BP the $4,080 to be paid to the defendant's counsel within 14 days. 

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