updated 5/10/2010 2:14:29 PM ET 2010-05-10T18:14:29

BP wants more than 70 lawsuits over the Gulf oil spill consolidated before a federal judge in Houston.

The oil giant is asking the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to have U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes to hear pretrial matters for all the cases.

Potential class-action lawsuits have been filed in every Gulf Coast state. Plaintiffs include commercial fishermen, business interests, property owners and others.

BP and other companies operated the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. It exploded April 20 and killed 11 people before sinking two days later.

Lawyers for some plaintiffs want a New Orleans judge to hear the cases.

The panel likely won't make a decision until July.

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