Briefs have been filed by all sides in the Supreme Court relative to BP’s appeal of its multi-billion dollar settlement for claims in the 2010 oil spill. BP is asking the Supreme Court to overturn rulings by U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld the settlement and the way claims administrator Patrick Juneau has been approving certain claims.
BP argues that business claimants who suffered no losses from the spill are being paid from the settlement. Juneau has filed an amicus brief in the case. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has filed an amicus brief as well in support of BP’s appeal. King & Spaulding also submitted an amicus brief for the British government supporting BP.
The plaintiffs and other amici opposing BP’s appeal argue that BP understood and agreed to the terms of the settlement at a fairness hearing in 2012. Critics have called BP’s appeal “buyer’s remorse.” Previously the entire Supreme Court considered and rejected BP’s request for an emergency stay to stop payments to class members until BP’s appeal and petition for certiorari could be considered. BP was ordered to continue paying claims while its appeal was being considered by the Supreme Court.
While only 1% to 5% of certiorari petitions are granted by the Supreme Court, BP’s attorneys have stated that they have a record of getting certiorari in 30% of their cases. Going against BP’s chances is the fact that the case is actually a contract dispute, and not a case involving important constitutional issues or arising from a split among the circuit courts of appeal.
For further updates, stay tuned to this blog, or contact Toni Ellington at (504) 599-8500.