The U.S. Justice Department's decision to open a criminal investigation into the Gulf Coast oil spill is threatening to complicate scores of lawsuits brought by people seeking compensation for the disaster. Different divisions of the Justice and Interior Departments are looking into the oil spill, searching for civil and criminal liability. For the companies responsible for the spill, there is now less incentive to cooperate in the civil suits, for fear that any statements could be used against them in a criminal case.
DOJ Criminal Probe of Oil Spill Could Hang Up Civil Suits
The National Law Journal
June 7, 2010