INTENT is one of the biggest issues when it comes to the law.
Do you REALLY think the INTENT of the settlement which was agreed upon
can be to pay people that were NOT affected by the spill?
The INTENT of the settlement was to pay those DIRECTLY AFFECTED by
The FACT that payments are being made to people NOT DIRECTLY AFFECTED
BY THE SPILL is going to lead to CHANGES!
Barbier really has SOME nerve, in my opinion, to be acting the way he is.
It is my opinion that he is NOT acting fair and should be removed from the case.
Others can disagree, but BP was more than fair and more than generous.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
This is good news. If lawyers sees that it is getting harder and harder to file claim, they aint gonna waste time doing it. And if payout is not certain, they aint gonna waste time & money on it either.
The 5th Circuit's order (basically, 1 page long, followed by a 1/2 page dissent) is linked to BP's "set the record straight" website. People should read it and appreciate that the situation cannot be distilled to simple black and white sides like "BP is renegging on the deal" or "Barbier and Juneau are in bed with the plaintiffs".
No rational person could dispute the general principle that settlement payments should not be made to claimants who were not harmed by the spill, but the question -- in the context of a settlement that was supposed to take the trial court out of the picture -- is how a fundamental entitlement issue (like causation) should be determined by the administrator when the settlement agreement is at best silent about it. (Arguably, the agreement was not exactly silent about causation; but the rash of bogus claims and the advertisements that in effect solicit them suggest that the deal's presumption of causation should be changed.)
It will be interesting to see what develops now before Judge Barbier, who is (re)directed to consider and address the causation issue. and by the 5th Circuit in the parallel appeals including the one by the objectors who are challenging the entire settlement as unfair in the first place, not to mention the trial issues that remain pending following the completed Phase I trial that has been fully briefed for months, and the completed Phase II trial as to which post-trial briefs have not yet been filed by the parties. But it seems to me that from a strategic viewpoint, at least so far, BP got what it wanted out of its settlement with the class plaintiffs in early 2012 -- a deal that pushed the Phase I trial back for a year and took those plaintiffs out of the trial picture (as against BP) by completely resolving their punitive damage claims (against BP, but not against RIG or HAL), while agreeing to pay their compensatory claims, which it would have lost anyway.
As I've said in the past, the decision telegraph the clear discontent by the appellate court of Barbier. As I said in the last decision, this is a fundamental shift by the courts (that matter) in BP direction. This may only be a few claims, it may only relate to a small amount of money, but Barbier is clearly on notice that the appellate court is going to scrutinize this skum bag quite closely. Got to love when these tin god district court judges get it shoved in their faces.
As to the "why" behind the settlement, I think you're correct, getting rid of many plaintiff lawsuits was a good thing and removed uncertainty. But I would say the full picture of where BP was at when it was agreed is helpful - maybe more. Before it agreed to settle, BP was facing prosecution by the Justice Department for manslaughter, obstruction of justice and possibly other criminal charges, not to mention environmental issues. You better believe BP wanted to make nice with the government, and the agreement was part of that attempt. After the agreement, BP reached plea deals and was not prosecuted.
As to Judge Barbier and causation, I don't think he's going to do anything. He's ordered to stop Juneau from making claims of cases that lack causation until the other appeal is resolved. Rather than trying to determine which ones have causation, the easier thing will be to just halt all the BEL claims until that other matter is finalized.
But this is not necessarily a ruling that will lower payouts. That won't be known until the other appeal is decided, and if BP loses that appeal, we're back to square one and the temporary stay is lifted.
Ok, I read some more about the Order by the Appellate Court and my initial reaction was a little overblown. Basically, the Court is saying because there's another appeal which questions whether the entire settlement agreement is fair, Barbier has to stop payments pending the outcome of that other appeal.
It's a temporary stay. Once the other appeal is decided, this will go away. I don't think the Appellate Court will require causation to be applied permanently.
And the dissenting appellate court judge who calls this insane, well he's on the panel deciding the other appeal, so I'm not worried this mess will get fixed and back to normal with applying the terms of the original agreement BP decided.
"It's a temporary stay. Once the other appeal is decided, this will go away. I don't think the Appellate Court will require causation to be applied permanently."
Yes, the website will be fixed soon and we can all sign up for a lousy health care plan that costs us more money. Oops! For a second you sounded just like our fearless lying leader. Sorry to interrupt your dream.
This is a real mess. The Appellate Court told Judge Barbier he was wrong, causation is, in fact, an issue (but they admitted the concurring opinions made it confusing).
The problem is, HOW DO YOU DETERMINE CAUSATION WHEN THE AGREEMENT DOESN'T PROVIDE FOR IT?
Is Barbier supposed to make up what he believes would be a fair causation standard?
This is ridiculous. I'm sure Barbier wishes he never had to oversee this mess.
I wish the appellate courts in this country were as sympathetic to individuals stuck in unfair contracts!!
You must be kidding me. The agreement is only about compensation due to the Macondo spill. Every word in the agreement IS about it w/o exception. But I got it now, it all depends on what the definition of "is" is. Right? Clever girl!
That shouldn't be too difficult. Barbier will likely evaluate each type of case, case by case, with a causation standard developing: Is the damage DIRECT result of the accident?
For example, the offshore drilling industry on the gulf coast suffered because President Obama issued a moratorium on drilling. Is this adequate causation for compensating these particular individuals?
Remember what I wrote you just one week ago?
"That said, I reiterate my point. When a ruling goes against the claimants and/or the EPA and you cry foul, I'll remind you that you argued in favor of unfair agreements being upheld. So now you can't go back and argue it the other way. That would make you a hypocrite. The tables will turn here, and you'll be on the other side so be prepared to be reminded. What goes around comes around. Every dog will have its day."
What a difference a week makes. Who would have thought that 1) those words would have meaning so soon, and 2) you would be playing the role of hypocrite exactly in the manner and for the reasons I mentioned. You are crying foul and a new dog is having its day and now you no longer support wholeheartedly and unequivocally the same principles of legal decorum for which you argued should be upheld regardless of fairness and consequence.
How do you feel about hypocrites? How do you feel about the expression, "every dog must have its day." And please while you're at it, update us on the opportunity cost issue. That was another of your primary tenants. And please also update us on your unwavering stance on BP's huge unaccounted for future liabilities. Do you still hold the same unwavering view, or is there some evolution in your thinking now that causation may be an issue. Do you think there is even a chance to add $1B in new claims if causation must be proven? Note that $1B is more than the GDP of a lot of countries.
So much for those stay at home Mom's claims for hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost Amway business huh? Oh the poor victims. They might actually have to find another occupation besides filling out legal paperwork for fictional claims.
" Is Barbier supposed to make up what he believes would be a fair causation standard? "
Absolutely! As a Judge, he had a fiduciary obligation to bring this matter to the attention of the court!
But he chose not to, Right. Now proceed and tell us all why he didn`t. Was it all by design or was it just basic incompetence. Come on, he knew the settlement agreement was flawed, or did he?
Look up the definition of incompetent
Here, I will spoon feed you and take your pick
not possessing the necessary ability, skill, etc to do or carry out a task; incapable
marked by lack of ability, skill, etc
(law) not legally qualified
an incompetent person