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I’ve received another message from the guy whose thoughts I had passed along in an earlier post about why BP has attempted to crawfish from its agreement with the people and businesses of the Gulf.  This time, he poses a straightforward question that BP should answer:

After its “en banc” petition for rehearing was rejected by the 5th Circuit last week, BP continued to argue its case in the “court of public opinion,” even as it moves the dispute to the next level in the “court of law.” The problem is, BP has taken conflicting positions in those two “courts.”

To recap, for the past year BP has been trying to revisit the “causation” aspect of a two year old class settlement deal that it had painstakingly negotiated and then successfully urged the trial court to approve. Now, BP has asked the 5th Circuit to extend the expiring Order that bars payment of ANY “Business Economic Loss” (BEL) claims while it takes its crusade to the US Supreme Court.

As “courts of law” consider these requests, BP should be asked to explain which of the following two descriptions of its “causation” position is a lie:

Position A:

“No company would agree to pay for losses that it did not cause, and BP certainly did not when it entered into this settlement.” (From BP’s public relations website and its corporate spokesman, Senior VP of Communications and External Affairs Geoff Morrell.)

Position B:

“This is a settlement. … It was a compromise, which every settlement agreement is. With respect to causation issues, some businesses that are very close to the spill, the causation issue is waived entirely. . . .” (From BP’s lawyer, former United States Solicitor General Theodore Olson, in open court on July 8, 2013 during exchange with Judge Edith Clement beginning about 6:33.)

BP has done an amazing job recasting itself as the victim, but if it can’t square those two positions, then BP is — at best — a liar seeking protection from thieves.  

While I don’t agree with my correspondent’s second characterization, it is more and more difficult to disagree with his first.

So, BP — A or B?

Which one is it?


  1. Gravatar for Foundonly

    I guess for Lawyers it’s fair game to take advantage of BPs naive notion that it was fairness that the ambulance chasers were after.

    But Just for the record, much more damaging to the US, is the legacy left behind for those companies that will follow.

    This case has promoted the well founded idea that the US legal system and its administrators are greedy and cannot be trusted to act fairly.

    It’s quite strange that the US legal system is maintaining is that British petroleum should pay even the known fraudulent claims against it. We are all sure to remember this when we next make an insurance claim.

    BP and all that follow will also remember these actions and act accordingly the next time.

    You will find that no one will ever trust or treat the US fairly again.

    1. Foundonly, please try and come up with original commentary rather than just cutting and pasting from your previous posts.

      To your point and to the contrary, if contracts are not worth the paper they are written on, as BP advocates, that will be the real tragedy. And if well healed entities are permitted to re-litigate their case post-settlement in the court of public opinion through massive advertising buys, such will completely erode any confidence a plaintiff would have in entering into a compromise with a deep pocketed corporate defendant.

  2. J.R. - Let's not forget this statement by BP attorney Rick Godfrey made in open court to Judge Barbier in November 2012 which completely contradicts BP spokesperson Morrell's claim:

    "We have presumed causation in Zone A. We’ve presumed causation. It’s irrebuttable. You know as well as I do, Your Honor, how many people come in and think they have got a claim damage for economic loss; but, when the facts come out, they had a bad year because they lost their key manager, they had a bad year because the street was being repaired in front of them, whatever reason. We’re presuming causation for whole sections of the settlement class depending on where you reside and the nature of your business.”

  3. Gravatar for patrick

    Foundonly, How cute, comparing B.P.'s hired hyena's to innocent, and benevolent lambs. You must dazzle all of your friends with that kind of brilliance. What a card you are!

  4. Gravatar for John R. Branham

    What us that got sick and been battling cancer for 3 yrs... when should we expect compensation... are they waiting on most of us to die ......

  5. Gravatar for John R. Branham

    I worked oil spill nearly 3 mo. deconning ships in Mobile.Al. shipyard..... horrible rash, then cancer 3 times.. .. all we,ll documented.. 100,s of pictures over a 1000 pages Medical records.. was ask to come to New Orleans and met with some legal team.. advised me to file suite.. That as far as they could see i was only eligible for $ 157,500.00 according to Matrix... That i,d be foolish to accept that.. that i deserved 5 to 7 times that figure... since then I had Liver cancer and colon cancer the 2nd time.... Havent been able to work since .. guess that doesnt matter...

  6. Gravatar for Trisha Springstead
    Trisha Springstead

    I personally find it reprehensible that BP could pull of the largest Oil Spill in the History of the US and believe me they also hired their own paramilitary….Military……force to hide this from the people. Wackenhut, now G4S was hired and many of us were victims of harassment by our own Country. I have been fighting this battle since the beginning and not only is the Ecosystem a mess, humans and animals are Suffering. We the People with the HELP OF OUR GOVERNMENT…. should have seized all assets, shut them down and stopped BP from ever Drilling in our Gulf much less our County EVER. Jeanne Pascal ex EPA tried to get BP Disbarred…..

    “They Are Serial Corporate Criminals.”

    Trisha Springstead


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