BP has yet again made a move to avoid paying the money it agreed to pay to injured plaintiffs in its 2012 oil spill settlement. BP announced that it would try and convince the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to overrule Judge Carl Barbier’s decision that approved the settlement agreement in the first place.
BP’s lawyers are now arguing in a recent court filing that Judge Barbier’s approval of claims administrator Patrick Juneau’s interpretation of settlement terms has allowed businesses across the Gulf Coast to profit off of inflated or fictitious settlement claims. Back in July, BP asked the Fifth Circuit to suspend settlement payments to businesses. BP has now gone much further; saying that if the Fifth Circuit fails to suspend those payments to businesses that it believes the entire settlement agreement ought to be rendered unfair and suspect.
Specifically, BP claims that if the payments to businesses are not suspended and a new calculation is employed to make future payments, then it believes the Fifth Circuit ought to overrule Judge Barbier’s approval of the settlement agreement that occurred last year. BP argues that the settlement process as it currently exists does not resemble the agreement they say they negotiated and, as such, the entire agreement ought to be tossed out as “constitutionally suspect”
The recent push to have the entire settlement agreement scrapped represents a major about-face for the company. Only a year ago BP jointed together with plaintiffs’ attorneys to urge Judge Barbier to approve the settlement agreement. The agreement was intended to end litigation with Gulf Coast businesses and residents who argued they lost billions due to the historic oil spill.
Plaintiffs attorneys meanwhile argue that the problem is with BP. They say that BP’s experts incorrectly estimated the cost of the settlement and that now that the totals are poised to exceed early estimates the company is attempting to scrap the costly agreement.
If you’ve been impacted by this or any other oil spill, please don’t hesitate to contact the Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill attorneys at Kilpatrick & Philley at toll free 601-707-4669.
Source: “BP expands challenge to Gulf oil spill settlement,” by Michael Kunzelman, published at MontgomeryAdvertiser.com.
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