BP cries foul on Gulf settlement claims

Citing what it says are fictitious damages, the oil giant is battling the very terms it had agreed to.

By Bruce Kennedy Jun 28, 2013 9:16AM

File photo of the BP logo (© Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
License: 1 year 10 monthsBP (BP) is appealing directly to the public. It's loudly proclaiming it's being taken advantage of by unscrupulous claims related to the company's deadly 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and the subsequent devastating and record-breaking oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


The British company placed full-page ads in three major newspapers -- The New York Times, the Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal -- questioning the billions of dollars it seems destined to pay out to businesses filing claims in the aftermath of the disaster.


"Whatever you think about BP, we can all agree that it's wrong for anyone to take money they don't deserve," the ad reads. "And it's unfair to everyone in the Gulf -- commercial fishermen, restaurant and hotel owners, and all the other hard-working people who've filed legitimate claims for real losses."


At issue is a ruling made in April by a U.S. district judge in New Orleans who upheld the court-appointed claims administrator's take on the multibillion-dollar settlement.


BP is appealing that decision, and according to The Associated Press, a three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, also in New Orleans, will hear the case on July 8.


"The Court has rejected BP's argument multiple times," Jim Roy, one of the lead plaintiffs' attorneys who brokered the class-action settlement with BP, told AP. "Simply put, BP has buyer's remorse because it guessed wrong on the cost of a deal, which it -- for nearly two years -- negotiated, co-authored, agreed to and sought Court approval of. The notion that BP is somehow trying to portray itself as a victim is preposterous."


In its ad, BP said it has so far spent $14 billion in environmental response and cleanup efforts and has paid more than 300,000 claims totaling more than $11 billion aimed at helping "restore the Gulf economy."


But the ad also accuses the trial lawyers and some politicians of "attempting to capitalize on this misinterpretation by encouraging the submission of thousands of claims for inflated losses, or losses that do not even exist."


Indeed, hundreds of claims appear to have little or nothing to do with actual damage from the disaster. Bloomberg noted that a construction company in northern Alabama, hundreds of miles from the Gulf Coast, was recently awarded nearly $10 million.


Some Gulf region attorneys are shaking their heads at BP's failure to require a cap on its total payout. "BP cut itself a bad deal," Houston trial lawyer David Berg told Bloomberg. "It's a stupid agreement."


In a statement, BP spokesman Geoff Morrell said the company remains committed to "doing the right thing" when it comes to restoring the environment and businesses damaged by the oil spill.


"While we are actively litigating the payments by the claims program for inflated and even fictitious losses," he added, "we remain fully committed to paying legitimate claims due to the accident."


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35Comments
Jun 28, 2013 10:32AM
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Hhhmm... At some point the money has to stop flowing.  It can't be an open check book nearly 3 years after the disaster and 30 billion in payouts.  Anyone will take something for nothing if they can.  Look at all the deadbeats living off the US government now collecting wellfare, unemployment, food stamps, disability, social security, etc.  I get that BP must pay for what it's done but it can't go on forever.  
Jun 28, 2013 1:20PM
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Whenever there is an opportunity to rip off a business or the federal government  for whatever reason, there are millions of Americans ready to take advantage of the situation.
Jun 28, 2013 7:34PM
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These ambulance-chasing law firms have been milking BP for billions.  One firm even advertised that you do not need to have suffered a financial loss to sue.  Along with the Mesotheilioma and Social Security Disability "advocates" these parasites are an embarrassment to our legal system and our country as a whole.
Jun 28, 2013 5:13PM
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I was down in Venice. La fishing a couple years ago.  Our guide said, "You won't find anyone around  here cussing BP,  They were throwing money at us so fast, I had to finally stop taking it."  Anybody with a boat was making unreal money hauling people around.  I guess the lawyers have to get their share now.  By the way, the fishing was a good as ever.

 

Jun 28, 2013 11:47PM
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This company really has a problem with capping things, don't they?
Jun 28, 2013 8:13PM
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Just out of curiosity. Over the past 3 years what has BP's North American profits tallied up to?
Jun 28, 2013 10:08AM
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The Brits are having to learn the same lesson again....You can't trust those Americans....If you leave yourself open, they will screw you.....That is what we do best.  "There is a sucker born every minute"---W.C. Fields.
Jun 29, 2013 3:18PM
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ALL BP Has to do is go to the US CONGRESS with a big bag of money .. Did they miss that someplace ?? OH YA Lobbyist are outlawed in Britton .. I forgot.. LMFAO..
Jun 30, 2013 3:56PM
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Ahhhh Ryan, spoken like a true redneck, beer drinking, clam digger hanging around the Gulf trying to get his/your share...

And you wonder or your peers wonder how some of you have gotten a bad name...

 

Do you know my cousin Billy Joel...??

Jul 8, 2013 11:33AM
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Oh come now. Why are so many jumping to the defense of a company who just a few years ago helped to broker the release of the man responsible for PanAm flight 103!?!? Just to gain drilling rights off the coast of Libya. Think before posting. And maybe do some research. This may help; Family security matters . org publication 7117. Also check out an open letter by Frank R Lautenberg, Senator, New Jersey. Addressed to Sir Nigel Sheinwald, Ambassador, United Kingdom.
Jun 28, 2013 10:01AM
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Looks like the executives at BP need a Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaambulance.
Jun 28, 2013 12:45PM
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PERDITION PATH.....I thought it was PT Barnum, the Circus Guy ??

 

Nothing like Scumbag Lawyers signing up everyone including Aunt Mable, she could smell oil clear up in Memphis...Made her sick, or something like that??

 

Nothing like cooking those Shrimp on the barbie, no need to add any butter/corn oil.

Heard Cousin Billy Joel, might get a new boat out of the deal...He lives in the Ozarks.

He got him a good lawyer...Go Billy J.

Jun 28, 2013 8:26PM
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HEY MORONS THAT HAPPEN TO THINK SO... NOT EVERYONE ON WELFARE, FOODSTAMPS OR UNEMPLOYMENT IS A DEADBEAT... IT'S CALLED NOT EVERYONE IS LUCKY ENOUGH TO FIND WORK.

 

EITHER BECAUSE THEY HAVEN'T BEEN CONSIDERED PART OF THE OFFICIAL WORK FORCE FOR QUITE SOME TIME OR BECAUSE COMPANIES JUST AREN'T HIRING DUE TO ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY AND OF COURSE SELFISHNESS... GREED...

 

SO GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE AND STOP WITH THE SELFISH, SELF CENTERED, ARROGANT, HATEFUL REPUGNICON CONSERVATARD MENTALITY.

 

OH AND BY THE WAY NO I'M NOT A DEMOCRAT, LIBERAL, CONSERVATARD OR REPUGNICON

Jun 29, 2013 2:13AM
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BP is more then welcome to go fornicate themselves in the corner as far as I'm concerned. Probably the single most corrupt corporation on the planet next to Apple. We should drain BP of every last cent and disperse it to the gulf region.
Jun 28, 2013 12:25PM
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Did we really expect low life people from down south and low life lawyers to not cheat?
Jun 28, 2013 10:20AM
Jun 28, 2013 10:28AM
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they forgot about the poor guys forced to stay on the platform while they preformed there dangerous actions knowing it was a big risk,, foul? right,, to me they killed peope to try to save money,,, foul,, yeah right
Jun 28, 2013 12:14PM
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It's a British company, bleed them bloddy dry.
Jun 28, 2013 11:56AM
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They should be paying  multi- trillions of dollars or be forced to go out of business Multi- billions is a drop in the bucket for them since there executive bonuses most likely add up to more than what they agreed to pay out.
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