Home » NEWS » Energy » BP appealing to have oil spill settlement administrator removed

BP appealing to have oil spill settlement administrator removed

Gulf Oil Spill - SettlementNEW ORLEANS — BP is heading to a federal appeals court in its effort to oust the administrator of damage settlement claims arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The company filed notice yesterday that it plans to file with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

BP has long complained about Patrick Juneau’s administration of claims. It sought his removal by a federal judge in motions claiming that he had a conflict of interest because he once represented Louisiana in talks setting up the claims process and had pushed for favorable terms for those with claims.

The company also said he had made misleading statements about that work before being named claims administrator. And they said Juneau improperly expedited claims for some people represented by the plaintiffs’ steering committee.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier flatly rejected BP’s arguments in an order last week. He said Juneau had disclosed his previous work to BP before being selected as administrator. He also said that BP used an out-of-context statement in its accusations against Juneau and that there was no evidence that any claims were improperly expedited.

“BP has appealed that order as it continues its efforts to bring the integrity and transparency to the Gulf claims program that was promised at its inception and that is sorely needed today,” BP spokesman Geoff Morrell said in an emailed statement.

In a related development Tuesday, Barbier approved plans for a second round of claims to be paid from a $2.3 billion seafood compensation program. He adopted recommendations from a group of third-party lawyers, referred to throughout his order and the court record as “the Neutrals,” recommending disbursement of up to $500 million in seafood claims.

Barbier’s latest order comes despite worries from BP about errors and fraud in the seafood compensation program. The judge said there are sufficient safeguards in place to root out fraud and prevent and correct errors.

“In short, BP demands actions beyond what is already being done in the way of fraud investigations, audits, etc.,” Barbier wrote. “The Court is well aware of the current procedures and finds that, combined with the recommendations, they are sufficient.”

The April 2010 blowout of BP’s Macondo well off the southeast Louisiana coast triggered an explosion aboard the rig Deepwater Horizon that killed 11 workers and resulted in millions of gallons of oil spilling into the Gulf for months.

A settlement of oil spill economic-loss claims reached in 2012 once was hailed by all involved but BP has since complained about the interpretation of the settlement and Juneau’s running of the claims process.



… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.

If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.

Click for more info

About Megan Wright

Leave a Reply