With only 7 months remaining to file a claim under the Deepwater Horizon Settlement Program, claims administrator Patrick Juneau is staying the course with regard to administration of the Program. A Federal Court has denied all appeals by BP to change the terms of the Program they agreed to, and Claims Administrator Patrick Juneau is continuing to oversee the Program using the fair and objective formulas.
Recently, Juneau was quoted as saying he expects an influx of claim submissions as the Program enters its final months, and that the processing centers would be ready for the wave. While Juneau admits he found it odd that BP would agree to an uncapped Program, the underlying point remains: BP agreed. There was nothing left to be determined, no reading between the lines and no vague obscurities that would cause controversy further down the road. BP attorneys met with Class Counsel 145 times to dot every I and cross every T. Now, only after all opt-out periods have expired, does BP publicly cry foul.
The largest advantage BP has in this scenario is that after the Settlement is complete, claims against BP are forever barred. Experts and attorneys both agree, it is in their best interest, economically and socially, to pay out valid claims within the agreed time frame, and move on.
While BPs current strategy may not actually be its endgame, most agree that BP’s real goal right now is to deter potential claimants from being evaluated. With over $3.6 billion paid back to businesses to date, and billions more in legitimate claims, the only thing that is clear is the widespread damage the oil spill caused.
The 30th of September marked the first day of phase II for BP’s trial, including allegations that BP lied to officials regarding how much oil poured into the Gulf of Mexico. Brian Barr, an attorney representing businesses that were affected by the spill, says BP had nothing in place to stop a blowout. “BP’s plan was nothing more than a plan to plan.”