Schexnaydre Law Firm, LLC

Even BP Knows They Will Lose their "Emergency" Motion

David Schexnaydre, Esq.

Oh, what is all the fuss?  Even BP knows they will lose their "Emergency" Motion for a Prelimary Injunction Against the Claims Administrator and Settlement Program to Enjoin Payments and Awards for Business Economic Loss Claims Based on Fictitious Losses. The very verbosity of the motion's name speaks to the ludicrousness of the motion itself.  And there is so much unnecessary paranoia manifesting in anticipation of the dreaded April 5 hearing on BP's "Emergency" Motion that people can't quite sit still.  

I have read the entirety of BP's 14-page motion and 72-page memorandum, so let me be the one to say it:  This thing is going nowhere for BP.  I happen to have a different take on why BP is doing what they are doing.  I believe that even BP doesn't think they are going to win this "Emergency" Motion.  Rather, I believe BP is taking this action in order to try and head off an anticipated shareholder liability action. BP wants to be able to say they did everything possible to limit the losses from the spill. But when they lose on this issue (for the third time), they can try and blame it on the "crazy courts of southern Louisiana."  After all, who wouldn't believe that!

Well, I for one don't believe it.  Judge Carl Barbier has very clearly articulated his reasoning for denying BP's two prior identical requests to stop the Claims Administrator from processing the Business Economic Loss claims according to the terms of the Settlement Agreement.  What is Judge Barbier's reasoning?  It is that the Claims Administrator is following exactly the language to which BP agreed after a year-long negotiation with the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee.  The Claims Administrator is following exactly the language that was subject to a Public Fairness Hearing. And the Claims Administrator is following exactly the language that was approved by Judge Barbier after the Public Fairness Hearing concluded.

But BP wants to make everyone think that somehow that language is being misinterpreted. Please! Three of BP's current trial counsel are from Ivy League law schools, two of them hailing from Harvard.  Do you think they had any less qualified attorneys and CPA's participating in the negotiation of the 1,000+ page Settlement Agreement?  Of course, not.

BP knew what they were doing when they negotiated the Settlement Agreement. What they failed to contemplate was the willingness of the people of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas to take them up on their offer.  Very shortly after the Settlement Agreement was announced, I attended an educational conference presented by the PSC during which one of the PSC members predicted that the Settlement Agreement would not cost BP the $7.8 billion price tag that was being bandied about, but rather could cost $10 billion or even $20 billion once it was all said and done.  Now that BP sees that this will actually come to fruition, it is trying to protect itself from shareholders that will soon become disgruntled.

Of course, those shareholders are not presently disgruntled.  After all, BP's net profit in 2011 was $26 billion and its net profit in 2012 was $11.8 billion.  (Hat Tip: Stansberry & Associates.)  But one day BP shareholders will become disgruntled when those billions of dollars of profits are properly diverted to the individuals and businesses in the Gulf Coast region who have been adversely impacted by BP's negligence.

So, BP files its doomed motions now so they can somehow attempt to use them later in an attempt to quiet the claims of their soon-to-be unhappy shareholders. Good luck with that charade.

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