Thursday, March 8, 2012

Gulf oil spill moratorium claims have no place in BP settlement |

R&D - leases containers to drilling rigs
business faltered during the drilling moratorium
When BP's Macondo well blew out, spilling millions of gallons into the Gulf of Mexico the federal government imposed a moratorium on deepwater drilling.  Those who suffered losses due to the regulatory moratorium - not the spill itself - made claims.  But BP ordered its claims administrator Kenneth Feinberg not to pay those claims.  As details of the settlement in principle leak out, we learn the BP still has not budged.  
It is a classic proximate cause question.  But for the spill the moratorium would not have occurred.   But was the government action so independent of BP's conduct that the company should bear no responsibility for the moratorium claimants losses?  Someday Judge Carl Barbier who is managing the litigation will have to decide. - GWC
Gulf oil spill moratorium claims have no place in BP settlement | by David Hammer, The Times Picayune
"We fought to have moratorium claims included, but BP wouldn't budge," said Stephen Herman, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs' committee that negotiated the settlement. "We're fully prepared -- and intending to -- litigate them."
Bertucci's lawyer, Joe Bruno, called BP's recalcitrance on the moratorium issue "a crying shame."
BP declined to comment Tuesday, but last November, when Feinberg urged BP to pay 6,000 moratorium claims that the company had expressly prohibited him from paying, the company was unequivocal in its refusal.
The federal oil spill law "was not designed to remedy claims arising from the government's decision to impose a temporary moratorium," BP spokesman Curtis Thomas said at the time."

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