Schexnaydre Law Firm, LLC

February 2013 Archives

BP Claims by Construction Companies, Professional Services Firms Stayed

I received today the below notice from the BP Claims Administrator advising that the evaluation of any BP Claims filed on behalf of construction companies, agricultural firms, and professional services firms have been stayed.  After reading the below notice, it is my opinion that this is an issue BP will ultimately lose, but it will cause an additional delay in the processing of claims brought on behalf of construction companies, agricultural firms, and professional services firms.  
Unfortunately, other than the text of the below notice, I could find no further information on this issue, even though I spent hours researching the Claims Administrator's website and reading the last month's worth of pleadings in the Multi-District Litigation surrounding the BP Oil Spill.  I also reached out to one of the members of the Plaintiff's Steering Committee to see if I could get some more information on the details of the issue and the only response I received was "the Claims Administrator has been interpreting the Settlement Agreement correctly," which is what I suspected in the first place.
Here is the notice:
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana received a
request from the Parties to give additional consideration to its decision of January
30, 2013, concerning matching revenue and expenses on Business Economic Loss
claims under the Economic and Property Damages Settlement Agreement. While
that request for reconsideration is pending, the Court has directed the Claims
Administrator to stay processing on Business Economic Loss claims from the
construction, agricultural and professional services industries. The Claims
Administrator will hold processing on such claims until the Court concludes the
proceedings on this issue. We do not know how long this stay will be in place.
The Court's ruling was not made public. At times, the Claims Administrator is called
upon to interpret certain terms of the Settlement Agreement. That interpretation is
provided to the parties prior to implementation. In accordance with the Settlement
Agreement, the parties have the opportunity to request that the Court review the Claims
Administrator's interpretation. On January 30, 2013, Judge Barbier affirmed the Claims
Administrator's interpretation of the terms of the Economic and Property Damage
Settlement Agreement as it applies to the calculation of "Variable Profit" for Business
Economic Loss Claims. That affirmation is the ruling previously referred to.
Subsequent to Judge Barbier's ruling, BP requested a reconsideration. No formal Motion
for Reconsideration has been filed. Before deciding whether or not to reconsider his prior
ruling, Judge Barbier directed the parties to meet in a mediation proceeding and attempt
to come to a resolution, if possible. Accordingly, the Claims Administrator has been
instructed by the Court to suspend processing of the affected claims pending a resolution
and/or further orders or directives of the Court.
I will continue to monitor this situation and update this blog accordingly.

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