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BP appeals judge's ruling over spill claims

NEW ORLEANS — BP is appealing a judge’s rejection of its argument that claimants who can’t trace their losses directly to the company’s 2010 Gulf oil spill shouldn’t receive payments through a multibillion-dollar settlement with a team of private plaintiffs’ lawyers.

BP attorneys filed a notice of appeal yesterday, two days after the ruling by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier.

The judge said in Tuesday’s order that BP’s settlement was designed to avoid the delays that would result from a “claim-by claim analysis” of whether each claim can be traced to the spill.

Earlier this month, a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Barbier erred when he initially refused to consider BP’s “causation” arguments.

The same panel will consider BP’s latest appeal.


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One comment

  1. In fact, the Settlement Agreement, authored and signed by BP, requires that most businesses (save for those located directly on the water or in very close proximity to the coast) meet causation tests based on revenue patterns that indicate a spill related loss.

    This is as it should be, as only businesses negatively impacted by BP’s spill should receive compensation. It just so happens that the majority of businesses in our area were affected to one degree or another by the economic tsunami that was the Deepwater Horizon blowout.

    See Economic Impact Study: http://neworleans.legalexaminer.com/toxic-substances/bps-oil-spill-a-gulf-coast-economic-tsunami

    BP, in seeking court approval of the Settlement Agreement in 2012, told Judge Barbier that such tests were “economically appropriate,” “consistent with economic reality,” “more than reasonable,” “more than fair,” “objective,” “transparent,” “standardized,” and an “efficient” method of establishing causation. In last week’s ruling, Judge Barbier agreed with the company.

    BP is seeking to change the tests in ways that would exclude almost all businesses from participating in the Claims Program, no matter how obvious their spill related losses may be.

    That is not fair. That is not what was negotiated. That is not what was agreed upon. And according to Judge Barbier, that is not what 1,200 pages of complex formulas say.

    Read the full Opinion:


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