The former chief executive of British oil giant BP, Lord Browne, can avoid extensive face-to-face grilling from plaintiffs’ lawyers about the deadly March 2005 explosion at the company’s Texas City refinery, the Texas Supreme Court has ruled.

While the ruling directed a judge to enforce an agreement allowing for John Browne to give a one-hour deposition by telephone, the lawyer who has led blast-related litigation for hundreds of plaintiffs said an effort to follow through on that may be futile because BP can appeal again. “I’m just pessimistic that the Supreme Court would allow us to get to him,” said the attorney, Brent Coon.

“We believe that when a CEO orders budget cuts that lead to the deaths of many innocent victims and injures hundreds more, he or she is not too busy or important to at least give a statement to the attorneys and court investigating the matter,” Coon said.

Least Coon says he is not giving up the fight.