Schexnaydre Law Firm, LLC

PSC Objects to BP Submitting New Evidence

By David Schexnaydre, Esq.

The Plaintiffs' Steering Committe (PSC) filed an objection today (12/13/2013) to the Settlement Program's Appeal Panelists accepting "evidence" submitted by BP on an appeal of an eligible Wetlands Claim.  While this particular acceptance of post-appeal evidence submitted by BP is limited to this one Wetlands Claim, it likely depicts BP's newest strategy to circumvent the terms of a Settlement Agreement they helped draft and for which they argued in favor of court approval.

The PSC based its objection on the fact that the Settlement Agreement establishes that a claim is to be based on "the complete record of the Claimant," not on new documents submitted by BP for the first time on an appeal of a claim. The PSC argued that BP should not be allowed to engage in a mini-trial of every case, including the introduction of evidence at what is basically the last minute, giving the claimant little to no time to contest the new "evidence." 

It is unclear what particular "evidence" BP sought to introduce, but no matter what it is, it violates the Settlement Agreement, which states very clearly that the claims are to be based on what the claimant submits during the claims process, not on new, unknown, and untested "evidence" BP slips in at the last minute. BP's appeal rights are described in the Settlement Agreement, and nowhere does it say they can submit "evidence" to the Appeal Panelists during the appeal of individual claims.

Why did BP even draft, negotiate, agree to, and argue in favor of this Settlement Agreement when at every turn they try to destroy it?  I guess they are just trying to "make it right."  

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