BP Settlement Requested to be Upheld
Posted: Thursday, October 24th, 2013 at 10:35 am
The attorneys for plaintiffs who agreed on a court settlement worth billions of dollars have asked an appeals court to review a judge’s decision. The personal injury suit was initially filed seeking damages against BP for the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Carl Barbier, a United States District Judge, approved the settlement in 2012, and recently, lawyers have filed motions in the 5th United States Circuit Court of Appeals. The recent filing highlights that only a few objections have been made with respect to the settlement, and the only issues raised were narrow concerns. No complaints were filed about compensation calculations or about the amount of money that plaintiffs are eligible to receive.
Friday, attorneys for BP argued that the 5th Circuit should overturn Judge Barbier’s initial order that was deemed legally binding. The attorneys argued in front of a three-judge panel that hears appeals, and they advocated on behalf of BP in the event that the company’s other appeal on recent rulings is not successful. BP holds that the trial judge misinterpreted the terms of the settlement, and as such, the ruling has allowed numerous business owners to receive hundreds of millions for claims that are inflated or totally fictitious.
The BP appeal was heard by a different 5th Circuit Court panel in July, but they have not issued their ruling yet. BP has also said that is will support Barbier’s approval of a settlement if their other appeal is successful.
While the brief that was filed in the appeal court on Tuesday does not deal with the dispute, lawyers for plaintiffs said that BP was “thrilled” with the way that the claims were being handled. These personal injury attorneys argued that BP undervalued the initial settlement and vastly underestimated the number of claimants that would qualify for payouts under the deal.
According to the claims administrator, Patrick Juneau, his office has received more than $4.5 billion in offers to cover the claims for more than 55,000 business owners and residents who claim that they lost money as a result of the oil spill.