Schexnaydre Law Firm, LLC

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Sides with British Petroleum (BP)

By David Schexnaydre, Esq.

As I posted on March 9, 2014, the 5th Circuit issued an opinion favorable to business economic claimants when it rejected BP's argument that claimants must offer additional proof that their losses in 2010 were related to the spill.  (The Settlement Agreement already sets forth a very detailed financial formula for establishing causation.)  As expected, BP requested a rehearing en banc (which means by all 14 active judges of the 5th Circuit, rather than the three judges who issued the recent favorable ruling).

What was not expected, however, is that on March 24, 2014, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed a brief with the 5th Circuit supporting BP, a foreign corporation who has pled guilty to multiple felonies and whose explosion killed 11 Americans aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig.  This means that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is opposing the position of thousands of U.S. businesses!

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce thinks the 5th Circuit's favorable ruling jeopardizes future class action settlements because it will lead to unpredictability in the enforcement of settlement agreements.  Funny how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce thinks interpreting the settlement agreement exactly as written somehow jeopardizes future class action settlements, but adding an unwritten causation requirement and an 88-page matching policy, neither of which were agreed to, somehow leads to reliability and predictability of future class-action settlement agreements!

If you have any contacts with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, or any of the local Chambers of Commerce, I urge you to call them and express your dissatisfaction with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce failing to stand with U.S. businesses against a foreign corporation that has caused so much damage to our Gulf Coast economy. 

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