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BP suffers major blow over Gulf spill compensation claims

  • BP (BP) is facing having to make large amounts of what it feels are unjustified payments after a federal appeals court ruled that Gulf coast businesses can claim compensation for the Deepwater Horizon spill without directly proving that the disaster caused them losses.
  • BP has options for further appeal and might be comforted that the panel voted 2-1 rather than unanimously.
  • BP has argued that not forcing companies to prove direct causation has led to "inflated, exaggerated or wholly fictitious" compensation claims worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
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Comments (20)
  • bdarken
    , contributor
    Comments (495) | Send Message
     
    Never been about justice.
    It's a shakedown of a foreign, colonial-power, oil company.
    4 Mar 2014, 07:44 AM Reply Like
  • nap.jerry
    , contributor
    Comments (63) | Send Message
     
    Will the "greed" of he American people ever stop? I'm ashamed of our (non-) justice system!
    4 Mar 2014, 08:31 AM Reply Like
  • leeplumber
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    I should make a claim from Illinois, Climate change, way to cold here.
    Has to be from oil spill. Bp send me my money.
    4 Mar 2014, 08:47 AM Reply Like
  • kindsvjh
    , contributor
    Comments (64) | Send Message
     
    I would like to see the agreement BP signed.
    4 Mar 2014, 08:50 AM Reply Like
  • chopchop0
    , contributor
    Comments (4005) | Send Message
     
    Yup. it seems like their lawyers never saw it (or if they did, they didn't advise them with any shred of competency).
    4 Mar 2014, 09:45 AM Reply Like
  • cssdraw
    , contributor
    Comments (31) | Send Message
     
    Smaller businesses listened to economists say day after day that no one was coming to the city, no one was eating seafood, no service industry people were needed, their places of employment were ridiculously down, their owners pulled spending back etc. this all did have a subtle effect on a lot of businesses... People trimmed their budgets and stopped all cash expenditures in anticipation of the "belt tightening" going on. I sell art and I assure you, both tourists and locals were missing in action for a long time. So no, BP did not spill oil on a canvas and make it unsaleable... But nothing sold during that time. Take your comments of greed and climate change to your small minded group to discuss and make yourself feel sanctified in that "you" wouldn't have done what the small businesses were given legal right to do.
    4 Mar 2014, 08:57 AM Reply Like
  • BAHAMAS1
    , contributor
    Comments (3030) | Send Message
     
    What a SIN and another embarrassment for the U.S.

     

    U.K. get off your ass and start Formally Protesting this continual miscarriage of justice !
    4 Mar 2014, 09:00 AM Reply Like
  • curbyourrisq
    , contributor
    Comments (31) | Send Message
     
    It is not and has not been a justice system for a long time. It is now a Just-Us system.

     

    "There is no suche thing as the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny does not exist, and American Justice is no longer found in the courts."
    4 Mar 2014, 09:15 AM Reply Like
  • chascolson
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    Just one observation: How about the criminal malpractice of BP's lawyers who created and approved this "no demonstrated damage" settlement arrangement?
    While I, too, think these claims are outrageous, in one sense the courts have no choice, since the settlement offered (and signed) by BP explicitly states (in "black letters") that claimants do NOT have to prove causation, or even the loss itself. It was BP's lawyers who offered and signed this foolish agreement.
    4 Mar 2014, 09:33 AM Reply Like
  • wizjinx
    , contributor
    Comments (439) | Send Message
     
    Blame the lawyers? I'd look to blame the executives that didn't do their due diligence and simply signed papers the lawyers gave them that essentially screwed the company over.
    4 Mar 2014, 11:07 AM Reply Like
  • chascolson
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    Yup -- the exec's, too. That's supposed to be why they get the big bucks; and they're the ones who engaged counsel in the first place. Considering all the bullet-proof boilerplate you and I have to sign in order to get a crummy credit card from BP, it's especially galling to see this kind of loophole you could drive a truck through.
    5 Mar 2014, 02:01 AM Reply Like
  • Badnews1
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    Another example of our screwed-up justice system and the need for tort reform. If it weren't for ambulance-chasing lawyers, the Democrat party would be bankrupt..........just sayin'.
    4 Mar 2014, 10:02 AM Reply Like
  • wizjinx
    , contributor
    Comments (439) | Send Message
     
    Your little anti dem screed made absolutely no sense..........just sayin'.
    4 Mar 2014, 11:08 AM Reply Like
  • dutchduke
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    There are attorneys getting checks for over 5 million (net fees!) in Louisiana and other areas. This is a personal injury attorney's utopia.

     

    Total Shakedown
    4 Mar 2014, 10:06 AM Reply Like
  • minecanary
    , contributor
    Comments (694) | Send Message
     
    Somebody ought to be suing on behalf of the wildlife...who bore the true brunt of this fiasco. Haliburton and the driller should also be paying.
    4 Mar 2014, 10:12 AM Reply Like
  • wizjinx
    , contributor
    Comments (439) | Send Message
     
    Glad I sold off when I did. This was brewing for a long time. if you stayed long after the last appeals court ruled against BP, the blame is all on you. The people who are decrying this above are, I'm pretty sure, the ones that stayed long.

     

    As for the legal proceedings, BP signed on to an agreement that said direct proof of harm from the spill wasn't necessary for claimants to show, and has since turned around and legally fought paying claimants without direct proof. While I agree, that there's a lot of fraud being perpetrated by people taking advantage of this situation, BP is at fault for the agreement. BP made mistake after mistake and now the company is paying big time. Don't blame the justice system. Blame BP.
    4 Mar 2014, 11:05 AM Reply Like
  • dutchduke
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    wrong, i'm not long BP. i can blame the justice system, i've seen first hand the ridiculous amount of money being paid out on bogus claims. BP did screw up by not following the XOM valdez strategy, but the tort environment in LA is what is making this beyond ridiculous
    4 Mar 2014, 11:36 AM Reply Like
  • glf4mny
    , contributor
    Comments (463) | Send Message
     
    cssdraw:
    I think we all know that there were a lot of people and businesses both small and large that were negatively and directly impacted by the spill and as such, were entitled to just compensation. It's not too difficult to calculate the actual loss of a commercial fisherman who couldn't fish because the waters were closed by the Feds. It gets more difficult when the fisherman can not or will not provide financial records/tax returns to support his alleged loss and instead claims his is a cash only business and that he had never filed a tax return in the past. For me, that's enough to exclude him and his business from making a claim. But the point the economists were trying to make is that the economy in general at the time of the Gulf incident was still reeling from the impact of the financial market collapse of 2008/2009. I remember it well, as do most, a time that no one was going anywhere or spending any money because their nest eggs had literally disappeared before their eyes. Screwed by Wall Street. It just so happened that the spill occurred in the immediate wake of the market collapse and once the money started flowing from BP, well, lots of people and businesses and local governments, not realistically entitled as in directly impacted, started piling on. Somebody was going to pay for their investment losses and a downturn in the economy. I heard that the City of Galveston, Texas filed a lawsuit claiming economic damages as a result of the spill. Really! Anyway, I suspect you didn't get any crude oil on your canvas either but that you have been paid for your claim, correct? Oh, and now that the 5th Circuit has ruled, there is the U.S. Supreme Court.
    4 Mar 2014, 06:22 PM Reply Like
  • cssdraw
    , contributor
    Comments (31) | Send Message
     
    I agree with your comment about those that can't show income verification in the form of one's tax return - which brings another issue to light. Because it was lost income, all proceeds were taxed at ordinary income. So the Government and all who benefit from governmental services were also being protected against a shortfall of revenue as well. The "fact" that only attorneys and accountants could handle claims is less than "fair" as well.

     

    BUT I stand by the reasonableness of the agreed upon terms with BP and note that my nest egg in the market (in which I DECIDED to invest) was also affected....so (hahaha) I was screwed by Wall Street too - although unlike your comment, I fully recognized the risks when I invested, and the nest egg is growing back.
    27 Mar 2014, 10:59 AM Reply Like
  • Unsettled
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    It is surprising that people with the appearance of intellect and computer aptitude express their ignorant opinions on a public blog. If they are so motivated to articulate to the world their thoughts, why do they not first make use the same computer & internet and actually read the document. It is as accessible as is this blog! At the least, they may actually post an educated opinion of the court rulings rather than forming them on biased headlines & hearsay.
    5 Mar 2014, 01:29 AM Reply Like
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