Judge tosses claims against dispersant's maker

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled last week that federal laws shield Illinois-based Nalco Co. from liability over the government’s use of Corexit after the 2010 spill.

Nalco didn’t decide whether, when, where, how or in what quantities Corexit would be used in response to the spill, Barbier noted. And the judge said it wouldn’t be proper for him to second guess the federal on-scene coordinator’s decision to use the dispersant.

Lawyers for cleanup workers and coastal residents exposed to the dispersant had argued Nalco isn’t immune from claims it supplied a defective product that wasn’t safe for use in the Gulf.

But the judge said the claims would create an “obstacle to federal law” if he allowed them to proceed.

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