BP has appealed Judge Carl Barbier’s March 5 ruling against the company to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeal came on April 4, the day before BP’s lawyers were scheduled to make the same arguments in a hearing before the judge. The appeal is from an order by Judge Barbier on the multi-billion-dollar oil spill damage settlement. BP first complained in January that claims administrator Patrick Juneau was misinterpreting the settlement BP negotiated last year with lawyers representing more than 150,000 private claimants. But Juneau, and then Judge Barbier, rejected BP’s arguments, saying that those were the terms BP agreed to after painstaking negotiations that led to the settlement agreement.
The lawyers on the PSC who negotiated the agreement, including lawyers from our firm, all say that BP’s lawyers understood fully what they agreed to after months of tough and very intense negotiations. When you get down to it, its hard to fathom how the company can say now it didn’t understand fully. The PSC, along with Administrator Juneau, has filed its response briefs in support of the settlement agreement. We are confident that BP’s efforts to rewrite the agreed-upon settlement will fail in the 5th Circuit.
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