BP, to-date batting 0-7 in the courts in its seemingly egomaniacal attempt to renege on the company’s oft-stated “Commitment to the Gulf,” today hurled a Hail Mary to the United States Supreme Court. In its filing styled “Application To Recall And Stay Mandate Pending The Filing And Disposition Of A Petition For A Writ Of Certiorari To The United States Court Of Appeals For The Fifth Circuit,” BP asks the Justices, particularly Justice Scalia, who is the go-to guy for issues involving the 5th Circuit, to force the Settlement’s Claims Administrator, Patrick Juneau, to once again halt all payments to businesses and individuals harmed by BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster. These are small businesses who were devastated four years ago by BP’s negligence, and are being devastated once again by the company’s brazen and dishonest attempt to have its cake and eat it to.
Since this case involves no issues of any real constitutional importance and no split among the lower courts (not to mention BP is on the wrong side of the law considering the unanimous Lexmark decision), the Supreme Court should act swiftly to deny BP this relief and order the immediate resumption of the payment program. To do otherwise would forever destroy the sanctity of contract by providing a clear game plan to tomorrow’s well-heeled tortfeasors on how to hoodwink plaintiffs, game the judiciary, and laugh all the way to the bank.
The fact that BP has gotten this far in its despicable escapade is already a black eye on the civil justice system. Alas, as BP hired gun and lead attorney Ted Olson told the 5th Circuit, “This appeal presents a straight forward question of contract interpretation.” Not exactly the stuff that should interest SCOTUS.
As a plaintiff attorney, Tom Young has been at the forefront of some of the Nation's worst disasters. In 2015, he was judicially appointed to represent over 200,000 plaintiffs in an allocation proceeding involving a $1.24 billion settlement with Deepwater Horizon contractor Halliburton and rig owner Transocean. Currently, he's focused on representing numerous communities across the country that have been ravaged by the opioid epidemic and are now seeking damages from drug manufacturers and distributors.