United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER & REASONS
M. AFRICK, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is defendants BP Exploration & Production Inc.
and BP America Production Company's (together,
“BP”) motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff Freddy
Antonio Jarquin's (“Jarquin”) response in
opposition to BP's motion for summary judgment was due on
June 18, 2019, but to date, no opposition has been
filed. Accordingly, the Court considers the
motion unopposed. For the following reasons, the motion is
January 11, 2013, U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier
approved the Deepwater Horizon Medical Benefits
Class Action Settlement Agreement (“MSA”), which
includes a Back-End Litigation Option (“BELO”)
permitting certain class members who follow procedures
outlined in the MSA to sue BP for later-manifested physical
who worked as clean-up workers in response to the Deepwater
Horizon oil spill are members of the class covered by the
A later-manifested physical condition, pursuant to the MSA,
physical condition that is first diagnosed in a Medical
Benefits Settlement Class Member after April 16, 2012, and
which is claimed to have resulted from such Medical Benefits
Settlement Class Member's exposure to oil, other
hydrocarbons, or other substances released from the MC252
Well and/or the Deepwater Horizon and its
appurtenances, and/or exposure to dispersants and/or
decontaminants used in connection with the Response
Activities, where such exposure occurred on or prior to . . .
April 16, 2012 for Clean-Up Workers.
case arises from Jarquin's alleged exposure to oil and
gas dispersants while he worked as a clean-up worker in
response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.Jarquin was
diagnosed on May 16, 2014 with chronic damage to conjunctiva,
chronic rhinosinusitis, and chronic dermatitis at the site of
not dispute that Jarquin was a clean-up worker after the oil
spill and that he is a member of the class covered by the
BP also does not dispute that Jarquin's alleged
conditions, diagnosed after April 16, 2012, fit within the
MSA's definition of a later-manifested physical
move for summary judgment, however, arguing that Jarquin
cannot prove legal causation. Specifically, BP argues that
Jarquin must prove that his alleged conditions were legally
caused by his exposure to substances related to the Deepwater
Horizon oil spill and that he will not be able to meet his
burden of proof at a bench trial before this
judgment is proper when, after reviewing the pleadings, the
discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any
affidavits, the Court determines that there is no genuine
dispute of material fact. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56.
“[A] party seeking summary judgment always bears the
initial responsibility of informing the district court of the
basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of [the
record] which it believes demonstrate the absence of a
genuine issue of material fact.” Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The party seeking
summary judgment need not produce evidence negating the
existence of a material fact; it need only point out the
absence of evidence supporting the other party's case.
Id.; see also Fontenot v. Upjohn Co., 780
F.2d 1190, 1195 (5th Cir. 1986).
the party seeking summary judgment carries its burden, the
nonmoving party must come forward with specific facts showing
that there is a genuine dispute of material fact for trial.
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). The showing of a genuine issue is
not satisfied by creating “‘some metaphysical
doubt as to the material facts,' by ‘conclusory
allegations,' by ‘unsubstantiated assertions,'
or by only a ‘scintilla' of evidence.”
Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th
Cir. 1994) (citations omitted).
genuine issue of material fact exists when the
“evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).
“Although the substance or content of the evidence
submitted to support or dispute a fact on summary judgment
must be admissible . . ., the material may be presented in a
form that would not, in itself, be admissible at
trial.” Lee v. Offshore Logistical & Transp.,
LLC, 859 F.3d 353, 355 (5th Cir. 2017) (citations
omitted). The party responding to the motion for summary
judgment may not rest upon the pleadings but must identify
specific facts that establish a genuine issue.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. The nonmoving