Schexnaydre Law Firm, LLC

BP Can't Learn Its Lesson; Moves for Injunction

by David Schexnaydre, Esq.

What is wrong with BP?  It can't learn its lesson.  After spending months negotiating a settlement, BP moved forward with the appointment of the Claims Administrator, won court approval of the Settlement Agreement, but then still wasn't happy.  BP obtained about a weeklong stay of the evaluation and payment of Business Economic Loss claims by construction, agricultural, and professional services firms, only to have its objections to the method of processing those claims denied.  It then asked the same judge to reconsider his own ruling on the issue, which was predictably denied.  Now, BP incredibly asks the same judge for an injunction on the processing of those same claims by filing "BP's Emergency Motion for a Prelminary Injunction Against the Claims Administrator and Settlement Program to Enjoin Payments and Awards for Business Economic Loss Claims Based on Fictitious 'Losses.'"  Is it me, or does anyone else picture BP banging its corporate head against a brick wall?

If BP would have spent half the time trying to stop the spewing of oil into the Gulf of Mexico that it is now spending trying to stop the payment of claims being made pursuant to a Settlement Agreement BP itself co-authored, maybe it wouldn't be in a position of having to pay so many claims.  But you reap what you sow.  BP allowed its well to disgorge millions of barrels of oil and other toxins into the communities of the Gulf South, so now it must allow its bank accounts to disgorge the agreed-upon billions of dollars to those same communities. Filing a motion to enjoin those payments, which are being made following the very formula BP helped devise, just adds insult to injury.  So much for the lip service advertising campaign that BP will "Make it Right."

It has been reported in the media that the hearing on BP's Motion for A Preliminary Injunction is set for March 22, 2013.  I reviewed BP's actual filings and while BP does ask for an expedited hearing to take place on March 22, that request, which was made in a Motion for Expedited Hearing filed on Friday, March 15, 2013, has not been granted by Judge Barbier.  It is expected Judge Barbier will rule on the Motion for Expedited Hearing on Monday, March 18.  If he grants the expedited hearing, it will give opponents to the injunction just four days to prepare a response to BP's 14-page motion and 72-page memorandum, not counting the attached exhibits.  If he denies the expedited hearing, then the next regular hearing date is April 10, 2013. 

Until an injunction is actually granted, which I personally believe to be unlikely, there should be nothing stopping the Claims Administrator from continuing to evaluate, approve, and pay claims meeting the Settlement Agreement's terms.

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