Court rejects BP request to delay spill payments during appeal


BP's request to extend a stay on payments to businesses that can’t directly prove they were damaged by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill, while the company seeks a review of disputed payments by the Supreme Court, was rejected today by the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

A week ago, the same court refused to reconsider its earlier rejection of BP’s complaint that its claims administrator was misinterpreting the spill settlement and approving hundreds of millions of dollars in “fictitious” claims.

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Comments (20)
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
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    Disgraceful.
    27 May 2014, 06:45 PM Reply Like
  • Sum02006
    , contributor
    Comments (461) | Send Message
     
    Egregious, outrageous, preposterous!
    http://bit.ly/1whugqj
    27 May 2014, 06:55 PM Reply Like
  • SoldHigh
    , contributor
    Comments (991) | Send Message
     
    These crooked claims are more financial incentive for companies to be more proactive in accident prevention.
    27 May 2014, 07:01 PM Reply Like
  • Ludo5312
    , contributor
    Comments (208) | Send Message
     
    Certainly will not improve the dim view that many have about US justice, especially in Louisiana.
    27 May 2014, 07:02 PM Reply Like
  • deercreekvols
    , contributor
    Comments (9727) | Send Message
     
    Justice is justly represented blind, because she sees no difference in the parties concerned. She has but one scale and weight, for rich and poor, great and small.

     

    WILLIAM PENN, Some Fruits of Solitude
    27 May 2014, 07:04 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    And, just how is BP to claw back such fraudulent claims AFTER they are deemed to be so? (maybe years later)

     

    Sad day for business in the USA.

     

    I guess that's what they meant by "Hope & Change"
    27 May 2014, 07:05 PM Reply Like
  • JBBanker
    , contributor
    Comments (145) | Send Message
     
    Court should've suspended payments based on the fact that their is a judicial issue with a company being forced to pay claims to "claimants with no injury directly attributable to the spill". I know what the average observe will say is "they signed an agreement"! The fact is the case boggles the rational and ethical. Thus, the Supreme will hear the case.

     

    Every unethical claimant and their attorney should be deathly fearful from a financial standpoint that the Supremes don't come out in favor of BP. BP would do right for their shareholders in this event to go after every paid claimant and if unable to collect their attorneys. The attorneys should hold all claims paid for questionable claimants until the Supremes rule. Attorneys should be held responsible for the funds.
    27 May 2014, 07:12 PM Reply Like
  • daphnex2
    , contributor
    Comments (127) | Send Message
     
    Legalized fraud and extortion alive and well in LA.
    27 May 2014, 07:38 PM Reply Like
  • Shmulik444
    , contributor
    Comments (20) | Send Message
     
    So theft is ok as long as it provides an incentive to prevent accidents, as if accidents are a profitable event?
    27 May 2014, 08:16 PM Reply Like
  • MC Tweed
    , contributor
    Comments (5) | Send Message
     
    I'm sorry but I just cannot understand why the US court keeps throwing this out. There are clearly too many opportunists taking advantage of the settlement, yet nothing is being done about it at all. Firstly, BP should be paying legitimate costs and only legitimate ones, secondly Haliburton and Transocean should be paying a hell of a lot more than they are/have. It sends a very bad message about the US as a place to do business, because: BP became a scapegoat because its British, yet the rest all got off scot free; it paints the US as corrupt, with overly biased courts as well as Obama using the gulf spill to gain political capital, to help his flagging presidency. In short, BP shouldnt have to pay non-deserving recipients, they've paid their dues and fees regarding the spill, the environment is stabilising in the gulf, so everyone should just move on.
    27 May 2014, 08:52 PM Reply Like
  • Dave the drummer
    , contributor
    Comments (71) | Send Message
     
    Here is a little something from a guy who was a correspondent that tells the truth on what is going on.... You seem like pretty smart guys so I am very surprised you have been brainwashed by the media....

     

    "The US media has not properly covered this subject matter and frankly the stories from BP are false, misleading or far worse. The examples BP and Judge Clement have used in their arguments to show claimants who were “falsely” or improperly paid (approx. 10 of 15 publicly released examples) are most often companies or persons paid NOT by the court approved Settlement, but claimants who were instead paid by the GCCF under Feinberg, who was I must remind, a direct BP employee.

     

    3 other cases where the media distorts are as follows:
    A car dealer who lost his franchise for a car line (Pontiac) – This dealer tried unsuccessfully for the entire summer and fall of 2010 to get a new franchise to sell new vehicles. Prior to the spill they had 3 other auto makers bidding to give them their franchises to sell their new vehicles. The spill ended those talks and the business shut for the year. That is a real loss as opposed to the BP half truth.

     

    An RV park that had a foreclosure filed against it prior to the spill – This is a not an RV park that had closed it’s business. It simply had a filing against it. Their business remained open at that location through 2010. A foreclosure does NOT mean a closure of business in the current FL real estate market for businesses. Most negotiate for a rental contract with the bank who forecloses as the banks prefer a property to be occupied and thus keeping the property from becoming abandoned. Many home owners are keeping residence in their homes in FL now under the same management agreements with banks (though ownership of the property is lost their business income was not.) The RV park in question WAS profitable in 2009, but they had fallen behind on their payments due to the economic crisis in 2007-09.This property would have been able to utilize the Federal Foreclosure Relief Act to refinance had they not faced the effects of the tourist exodus from the region in 2010 caused by the oil spill.

     

    The business that burned down prior to the spill – This company was ready with contractors to use their insurance money to move to a different adjacent location and restart their business, but failed to be able to do so as there was simply no customer base to move forward. Further banking loans that were extended prior to the spill we pulled back by two local banks. Hard to make money or reopen a business after a fire when the oil spill changed the economy around them.

     

    The Oil Pollution Act, made law by Congress specifies that “regions” affected by an oil spill are “affected economies” and as such no direct contact with oil is required to show losses that are then liable to the offending party (BP, Transocean et al). OPA rules give all regional business a chance to ask for compensation regardless of their business type and also apply punitive damages if the court rules that negligence was involved in creating the spill. In this case the court was to rule in Feb of 2012 but BP rather than allow that case to be heard (and a possible 3x multiplier added to losses) BP offered this settlement with these specific rules of filing based on OPA law out of the fear that litigation costs would be higher than this settlement.

     

    Remember that to make a settlement, one just needs to count the dollars it would cost to defend yourself from any and all law suits. BP is ignoring their own math calculations that said this settlement (even with the new cost estimates) would be a cheaper outcome. Yes some people have less deserving losses and are getting paid, and others who had truly huge losses are getting very little. Many businesses (around 100,000) that had real losses were convinced to settle for just $25k when their losses were twice to many times that number. The idea of a class action is to keep courts from being shutdown by the overburden of the law suits and finding a solution that is “good enough”. BP said this one was better than good enough and said that after they compared their likely losses in open court due to the volume of cases that would have numbered into the 100,000′s.

     

    One last note…the oft quoted “4 partner accounting firm” where one partner takes a medical leave during the oil spill…this was a hypothetical case not a real one. If it was real then there would be other factors that would have allowed the case to proceed against BP in a normal court of law. As it is hypothetical then one might ask first – Did this 4th partner decide to take his medical leave at this time because there simply wasn’t enough business for him to be needed in the office? Or did his absence from the office result in any turning away of clients? Really…would a business of that type actually lose business because one partner had a forced medical leave? Of course not! They would hire a temporary staff accountant. There were many unemployed accountants due to the prior economic crisis available to hire to take up his work load IF and only if such a work load existed. Truly these cases put forward by BP are red herrings meant to deceive the public and at least one Judge by the name of Clements.

     

    FYI I was an expert for BBC World service for many years and saw first hand the way we were instructed to use “notes” pre-prepared by corporations and other groups who were on a single side of an issue when appearing on air. If we failed to use these “notes” we were eliminated from the tapings and not asked to return. The news you hear is edited before it even reaches the writers or broadcasters these days. It was not so even as recently as 2002…now though…hard to find any proper analysis or truth left."
    27 May 2014, 09:33 PM Reply Like
  • spike77
    , contributor
    Comments (486) | Send Message
     
    In between your comment and the other side of the genuine truth is that grey area which has been a godsend for every shark, failing business and lawyer in the area. BP aren't trying to wriggle out of their responsibilities at all, they quite sensibly realise that many of these 'claims' need further investigation.
    28 May 2014, 07:50 AM Reply Like
  • Dave the drummer
    , contributor
    Comments (71) | Send Message
     
    But they haven't proven a single false claim and they are not paying ANYONE under the claim that there are thousands of these false claims... If there are thousands of false claims then why could they only produce 15 examples a lot of which THEY pushed through under the GCCF and the others prove to be actual legitimate claims twisted to make it look like they were undeserving???
    28 May 2014, 11:00 AM Reply Like
  • JBBanker
    , contributor
    Comments (145) | Send Message
     
    "Haven't proven a single false claim? ". Is that a joke? It has to be a joke.

     

    Just google BP Fraud Arrest. What will you easily see? Things like "After 13 arrests, AG Luther Strange reminds Alabamians he's prosecuting fraudulent claims in BP oil spill"!!!! Yes, Alabama Attorney General is prosecuting false claimants. Thirteen arrest and ten have pleaded "Guilty"!!!!

     

    It is a total joke. Wait no travesty what is happening by these unethical, immoral, criminal attorneys and equally their clients. The AGs of Lousiana, Texas, Mississippi and Florida should follow the same course except they are more interested in politics than truth, justice and the American way envisioned by our founding fathers.

     

    BP is to be congratulated for taking on this corrupt system. I am glad that they have the billions of dollars to see this thing thru to the end. I hope everyone is held accountable and that BP puts it full weight on the boot that should go on each and every one of these fraudsters, criminals and scum bags' necks?
    30 May 2014, 02:51 PM Reply Like
  • Dave the drummer
    , contributor
    Comments (71) | Send Message
     
    I guess I was wrong to say no fraud has been proven... The 13 cases you point out were all personal claims not business claims, they were all paid by the GCCF and BP's own people not the courts and the system that BP is fighting and the claims add up to a little over 20,000 dollars including court costs.. several of the people were caught and prosecuted before they ever received a dime... BP's claim that there are thousands of businesses filing false claims worth billions of dollars is an out and out lie... the 15 examples they came up with are an out and out lie... good for Alabama nailing those 13 private claimants and any business that try's to scam BP should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law but not paying legitimate claims including medical for people that BP hired to help with the cleanup is the most despicable thing for them to do and then pretend that they are the ones being hurt??? Big business has no soul...
    1 Jun 2014, 08:19 AM Reply Like
  • Dave the drummer
    , contributor
    Comments (71) | Send Message
     
    BTW here is the comment from the same guy that precluded the other one...

     

    "Your suppositions on US legal norms are humorously interesting and entirely uninformed.

     

    The nature of a “settlement” is to give a defendant an opportunity to strike a bargain with any and all plaintiffs in ADVANCE of a trial on merits. The “fraudulent” claims that BP is now touting are all colorable plaintiffs who now qualify as claimants, as determined by BP’s own rules, set forth in the Settlement Agreement.

     

    BP’s play here is to now try and throw out portions of or all of those potential plaintiffs who “opted into” this Settlement Agreement. If BP succeeds in this they will then argue that those same plaintiffs who are eliminated from the “class” as now beyond their statute of limitations. This is the strategy that K&E are pursuing.

     

    Of course “tolling” of the time table (statute of limitations) for those who were inside the Settlement (opted in) will begin to run based on the date of the Settlement Agreement’s May 2012 preliminary approval, when or if claimants are eliminated from the “class” in any later US Supreme Court ruling. Not that BP won’t say that May 2012 is not the applicable date of course, and BP will then argue for a shorter period before the statute runs out, like Dec 2012 when the fairness hearing was ended. Functionally this will eliminate a percentage of possible litigants.

     

    In the meantime BP is dissuading many litigants from filing as they raise the social pressure with their lies on whether or not fraudulent claims are being filed. Of course BP claims these are occurring in vast numbers but assessment of the fat say otherwise.

     

    Each claim they have brought to the media has been carefully chosen and edited to give the impression that such claims had no legal standing in court. The opposite is true."
    27 May 2014, 09:35 PM Reply Like
  • SSGAJ
    , contributor
    Comments (227) | Send Message
     
    It has been beating to death that BP must pay ... as determined by BP’s own rules .... Let's go back to 4 years when this incident occurred... BP was faced with an insurmountable task to not only stop the oil flow, but to do everything possible to make it right. They were pressured by not only the local government but by the White House to take steps that were later viewed on being unjust. It was just a case of beating somebody when they are just about down and out. An opportunistic time to orchestrate a get us much money out of a bad situation as possible. Two wrongs do not make a right....this can not be disputed...even by crooked lawyers, judges and system. Enough is enough. If they would have a better way of determining actual loses, than the people who are deserving of the damages would have been paid along time ago. Instead a judge 4 years ago, pledged that this would not be another Valdez. Apparently, he was one of the master minds driving the master plan to milk BP for everything it could. They knew that they had to do it within the scope of law, whether it was just or not. Legalized crime in play. What a disgrace.

     

    Let's not forget about large amount of stockholders in Great Britain that are depending on BP for their subsistence. Why should the have to forgo their retirement monies for crooks in the US who are hoodwinking them. Can you image a family who lost their son in the Iraq conflict and now is seeing the court system in the US take more money from their pension than they should. This is why some call us the Ugly Americans. I served my country for 26 years because I am proud of being an American, however what I see here is something I am not proud of.

     

    In life, you must spend the right time and effort in order to do something right. Rushing it, by losing a legal advantage is just not right. Shame on our legal system.
    28 May 2014, 07:37 AM Reply Like
  • Dave the drummer
    , contributor
    Comments (71) | Send Message
     
    It can be disputed... BP and their lawyers took months to put this agreement together with Barbier... BP felt that it was a good deal at the time and so their high priced lawyers took it in front of the board and recommended that they accept the deal knowing full well it would save them money in the long run... Even with the final cost increasing for them now it is still a good deal... By stalling BP is making money off of the money earmarked for this (while not having to pay interest on claims) and their spin doctors are busy trying to make it look like they are the victims... They aren't... The people with medical issues are the biggest victims, the people with monetary losses are victims, the Gulf and the life it supports are the victims... BP is a huge company that is doing everything it can to minimize the cost of their mistake while their stocks rise and they still make a profit....
    28 May 2014, 11:07 AM Reply Like
  • Ludo5312
    , contributor
    Comments (208) | Send Message
     
    I have no idea why someone is drumming the beat for cheaters and 'victims' of unrelated events. BP is only asking to stop payments to cheaters and those that have claims that are unrelated to this accident. Stop the whole issue of blaming BP for everything that goes wrong. Accidents happen and they are very sad when it includes loss of life. BP has behaved as corporate responsible citizen.
    29 May 2014, 12:35 PM Reply Like
  • Dave the drummer
    , contributor
    Comments (71) | Send Message
     
    No they aren't... They are not paying anyone... There is no stay attached to medical, so they should be paying medical and they aren't... They show 15 examples of businesses that they claim were undeserving and yet all examples have been proven to actually be legitimate... There are 10's of thousands of legitimate businesses that haven't been paid because BP claims there are thousands of fraudulent businesses being paid to the tune of millions or billions of dollars... If there was then you would think BP would have better proof than an RV park that was in foreclosure but still operating, or a business that burnt down and was trying to rebuild and reopen at the time but lost their financing... I have no idea why someone is drumming the beat for BP when they have some of the highest paid lawyers and spin doctors doing that already... Or maybe I do...
    1 Jun 2014, 08:27 AM Reply Like
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