Company Asks to Rewrite Settlement, Avoid Paying Claims
On Friday, April 5th, here in New Orleans, BP will attempt to break its promise to tens of thousands of small business owners across the Gulf. The company's lawyers will stand in front of Federal Judge Carl Barbier and attempt to argue with a straight face that the settlement agreement they designed and agreed to one year ago really isn't what they thought they were signing.
BP will ask the court to rewrite the agreement for them, requesting the implementation of some as-of-yet undiscovered new math, devoid of all reason and common sense, in order to avoid paying billions of dollars to deserving and legitimate business claimants. For months these businesses were told by BP "If you play by our rules, consider the check to be 'in-the-mail'."
And play by the rules these businesses did, filing claims with painstaking attention to the detail documenting their losses as BP's settlement agreement dictates. Now BP wants to change the rules as they wrote them. Why? The company simply underestimated the damage its April 2010 oil spill inflicted on the region's economy. Instead of BP's economic damage estimate of $7.8 billion, the company now realizes it could be closer to $15 billion, or even more. So they want to change the compensation formulas they already agreed to.
Unfortunately, BP's track record is littered with broken promises. Broken promises to keep their workers safe. Broken promises to protect the environment. And now a broken promise to small businesses who have already suffered enough at BP's hand.
Sign our petition to make BP stick to its word and follow through with its commitment to the Gulf.
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.