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Late Friday afternoon a panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled 2-1 that the historic Settlement Agreement and Class Action Certification involving the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill is legal, enforceable and proper.

This comes after months of hollow complaints by BP about the 1,200 page document the company helped author and signed. BP has unfairly attacked the civil justice system of the United States, the Judge overseeing the litigation, the court appointed Claims Administrator tasked with processing claims, and most egregiously, the hard working people and businesses of the Gulf who were devastated by BP’s disaster.

This decision vindicates these parties and further calls into question BP’s motives. Look for more updates soon.

Text of 5th Circuit decision.


  1. Gravatar for Calvin

    Im so happy to see this ive almost lost everything due to them delaying the process i hope they pay me for my lossess so i can get my boat moving company back up and going gotta buy more equiptment since i had to sell mine to feed the family due to people not able to use boats in gulf

  2. Gravatar for Barbara Taylor

    So when can we expect our settlement ??will we get any kind of interest for all the time we have had to wait

  3. Gravatar for Tom Young

    We are hopeful that the claims approval process will restart soon. However, expect BP to continue to lobby for its baseless position. In fact, BP spokesperson Geoff Morrell had this to say after the ruling:

    "BP will continue to press its position on the proper interpretation of the settlement agreement's provisions requiring a causal nexus between a claimant's injury and the spill."

  4. Gravatar for Tom Young

    Thanks for the comments.

    The Settlement Agreement mandates that the deadline for filing claims is April 22, 2014 OR 6 months after the Effective Date, whichever is later. The Effective Date is subsequently defined as the date the last appellate opportunities expires.

    Any normal reading of that provision would suggest that the deadline for filing claims must be extended, to at least 6 months from today (and likely further). However, we know from this experience that BP reads things differently than most people, so expect them to attempt to enforce the April 22 deadline. The smart money says to get your claims filed now, not later.

  5. Gravatar for Kim Lirette

    Now that we lost almost everything and got bills still unpaid for. Bad credit scores it 's our names drag in the dumpster. Why because of them asshole BP and don 't forget that lier Kenneth Feinberg for stealing the people with Quick Pay. They need to come back and redo the seafood fishermen settlement. Because the last three years is at it worst point of nothing. We the people need to stand our ground against BP destroy till we get repaid.

  6. Gravatar for april

    Bp need to pay the people of the gulf and everywhere else they lost alot stop trying to be bullies too the gulf

  7. Gravatar for Ed Lee

    Tom Young above "We are hopeful that the claims approval process will restart soon." Is this statement referring to actual BEL payments being made? Is there some other legal proceeding that must be completed for approved BEL's to actually be paid? I appreciate you insights in this column. I do notice that there are continuing to pay IEL and CRP claims.

  8. Gravatar for Tom Young

    The 5th Circuit BEL Panel has requested the litigants' positions on whether the current injunction should remain in effect given the 5th Circuit's Class Certification affirmance last week.

    The parties briefs on that issue are due on Monday. The timetable for a decision on the injunction remains unknown.

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