You're just ranting. I'm not blind, but you are, or you're blinded by cynicism, if you really believe that "the majority of claims" paid (or even presented) under the 2012 settlement have involved some level of fraud. Good of you to recognize the legitimate claims of the suvivors of the 11 people who died on the platform -- none of whom will be paid by BP, as Transocean indemnifies BP for that liability. But tough luck for any other victims of the incident?
As for the criminal prosecutions arising from the incident (U.S v. Mix, Vidrine or Kaluza, or the criminal claims by State AGs or local DAs against fraudulant claimants), they and the civil matter in NO (plaintiffs v BP/RIG/HAL) are being heard in different courtrooms or courthouses before different judges who do not answer to each other, or to the DOJ (or to the AGs or DAs), any more than they answer to the lawyers for the various defendants or to the claimants' attorneys who appear before them. If one side or the other doesn't agree with decisions that come out of those courtrooms, they can be appealed to appellate courts which can overturn them if appropriate. That's exactly what's happening right now with respect to Mix -- the DOJ is upset with the trial judge because he decided to give the guy a new trial, so it's appealing that decision.
"In a just world ..." the company/industry would walk because the government caused the spill???? And I suppose there were no victims of the blowout/spill, or if there were, they should have just toughed it out, because pain just makes them stronger, right? That's even more twisted than the claims that indirect business losses experienced by drilling/production/service outfits due to the moratorium should be reimbursed by BP.
Don't hold your breath waiting for any meaningful recoveries by BP. No doubt the passage of time and publicity about increased claim scrutiny (including due to "Policy 495") will reduce the flow of settlement payments relative to earlier rates. But the actual "claw back" results are purely symbolic. For example, the court's 7/16/14 order (actually, it was a final judgment on a civil restitution order dated 4/29/14) called for repayment to the DHECC -- not to BP -- of a whopping $357K because the claim was found to be truly fraudulent, i.e., the loss figures were supported by false tax returns and lies. (I wonder if there will be any criminal charges filed against that claimant.)
Instead, the near-term Macondo-related share price movement to watch for will follow the court's ruling on the Phase I and II issues, where the magnitude of BP's CWA fine can swing by $14B depending on whether the fault finding is gross negligence v ordinary negligence, and on the finding regarding the amount of oil released.
We agree that the oil service companies who have sued BP due to business losses due to the moratorium should lose. I think they will. But to suggest that the moratorium was not a response to the spill is nonsense. The Wikipedia entry entitled "2010 United States deepwater drilling moratorium" begins with this entry: "On May 30, 2010 a 6 month moratorium on all deepwater offshore drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf was declared by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. The limitation was in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill which occurred in the Gulf of Mexico."
I don't think a plaintiff who suffers an economic loss due to a governmental act (drilling moratorium) should be able to recover from a defendant who "caused" the event that led to that governmental act. That just sounds too attenuated to me, and I hope and expect that's what the ultimate ruling will say.
But while I think the drillers and service contractors in question should lose their cases, it isn't a question of morality ("truth" or "deceit"). As for your comment that "BP had nothing to do with it", well, if the plantiffs lost business due to the moratorium, and the moratorium resulted from the Macondo spill, then BP definitely had something to do with it. Just not enough to create liability, in my view.
I don't share your assumption about the "vast majority" of readers of this message board being "newbie investors" or that anyone who isn't a true believer must be a "BUG". But, regardless, being a "real long term investor" is certainly no guarantee of success. Just ask the ones who've been slaughtered during the past three years as their positions have been repeatedly diluted and the share price plummeted from the high 70s. Certainly they were not rewarded for their patience. When did the "BUGS" who turned out to be dead right at $79/share (and $70, $60, $50, $40, etc.) become so obviously wrong?
knumbz, your lists of "huge" or "gigantic" or "significant" exposures facing Transocean used to include "Norwegian tax exposures" right after "unrecognized" Macondo exposure, but it isn't mentioned in your latest post. Is that because, according to Reuters, a Norway court recently acquitted the company on all charges in a tax fraud trial? With the evaporation of that "huge" tax exposure, I suppose you must think the company's prospects are brighter than your earlier posts had suggested.
So these oil well drilling/service industry plaintiffs were "left out of the ... settlement BP reached in 2012". No problem; defendants aren't required to settle with plaintiffs if they don't want to, and it sounds like the company's reasoning for excluding them was that it has confidence in its "causation" defense against this group (i.e., their business losses were caused by a government edict -- the drilling moratorium -- rather than the spill itself). Sounds like a good argument to me.
But there's an interesting irony here, given the ongoing fight over the BEL settlement interpretation. If BP's position is that all plaintiffs who claimed financial damages (or "Business Economic Loss") from BP must prove that their losses were caused by the spill regardless of whether their claims were "settled" via the 2012 deal, then from the standpoint of the BEL claimants what was the point of the settlement?
Sorry Bill, but there's zero chance of a finding of "no negligence". Before the trial, it pled guilty to 11 counts of criminal negligence. So at the trial, where there was no point claiming "no negligence", BP acknowledged that it was negligent and argued that so were Transocean and Halliburton, but that nobody was grossly negligent.
This has nothing to do with fraud, which is a (brilliant) PR construct anyway.
Anyone who didn't opt out of the settlement in 2012 was required to go through the independent program, so BP's claims office was only for proportionately tiny segment of class members who, by opting out, had maintained their right to sue BP. So they're not "without recourse", as unlike the members of settlement class (i.e., the vast majority that chose not to opt out of the deal) they can still force BP to face them in court -- like any aggrieved plaintiff in any other lawsuit -- if they want to pursue their remedies.
Take your head out of the sand. All members of "class" who didn't opt out of the BP settlement in that was approved in late-2012 -- including the "BEL claimants" you're focused on -- have already dismissed their claims for compensatory damages against RIG and HAL.
That dismissal feature of the settlement was something that BP obviously insisted on, because it knew that it would have to indemnify RIG and HAL for their compensatory damage liabilities to the class based on the trial court's ruling on their respective contracts with BP.
So as to the settlement class, it doesn't matter how proportionatly "significant" the Phase I fault share assigned to RIG or HAL is. The only direct claim that members of the settlement class (including "BEL claimants") have left against RIG and HAL is for punitive damages, which even you must agree is a longshot. True, RIG and HAL still face compensatory damage claims by the relatively small number of victims who opted out of the BP deal, and also to the gulf states themselves, but under the trial court's unchallenged indemnity rulings in early 2012 that didn't agree with BP (or your "swiss cheese" argument), BP will have to indemnify RIG and HAL for any compensatory damages paid to those folks.
The articles I saw said the CSB report identified safety system wiring (solenoid valve) problems with the Macondo well's BOP, but they also said the report ultimately concluded that the BOP functioned anyway. Problem was, the due to a phenomenon called "effective compression" the drill pipe had already buckled to such an extent that the BOP's closed jaws couldn't stop the flow. The report urged the industry to address that problem on other BOPs to avoid future problems even though BOP "valve fault" did not cause the Macondo spill.
So even if the report had been available and admitted at the time of trial (which it obviously wasn't), it wouldn't have been bad for RIG, as the RIG defense team would have argued that if the court chose to accept the report's findings about the BOP's problems it should also accept the report's conclusion that there was no causal connection between those problems and the spill.
As for the notion that RIG's remaining Macondo exposures are outside the scope of its indemnity rights against BP, unless you're talking about exposure to punitive damages (truly a longshot), good luck with that one. As you know, the trial court has already ruled favorably for RIG on the indemnity contract, that ruling remains unchallenged, and BP's approved settlement with the class plaintiffs contains terms showing that BP pretty much accepts the ruling as correct.
If it was a big enough number to move the needle, seems like word would leak out.
Since the deal was just announced, I wouldn't assume payment will be received before July (unless quick payment was part of the negotiated terms). Would you expect the Q2 numbers to reflect it before the cash is received?
I only saw press reports discussing the original complaint filed in 10/2012 saying the claimed loss was in the $45M range, and that M&K had been paid around $37M before being terminated. More speculation here, but I'm sure the defendant strongly denied the liability and damage claims asserted against it (arguing that it didn't make any errors, and even if it did, the project was beset with other problems that were not its responsibility, that Molycorp's business plan was flawed anyway, etc., etc.). Based on my experience a sophisticated project owner suing its design professional for purely economic losses (i.e., project delays, allegedly causing increased costs and lost profits) isn't likely to get a settlement recovery that exceeds what it paid that defendant, particularly when the defendant has limited assets and the source of the settlement recovery is its shrinking professional liability insurance policy limits that typically are not enormous to begin with and are simultaneously being bled by the defendant's defense expenses.
Every little bit helps, I suppose, but this two year old lawsuit was filed by Molycorp against its engineering contractor isn't likely to make a big difference. According to 2012 reports MCP claimed $45M in damages due to design flaws that impacted the timing of project. Purely speculation here, but the counterclaims were probably defensive, and even assuming that the liability arguments, on balance, favored Molycorp over M&K, the resulting settlement payment to Molycorp from the much smaller defendant (or its professional liability insurer) would probably be much less than the original $45M claim.
He's seeing ghosts when it comes to Macondo. Read pp. AR-101 - AR-107 of the latest annual report for details, but right now RIG is awaiting 2 decisions that will cast a lot of light on its remaining exposure. They are: (1) The trial court's ruling on the question of whether RIG (and/or BP and/or HAL) was "grossly" negligent, and (2) the Texas Supreme Court's ruling on two questions of law in connection with BP's attempt to access some of RIG's liability insurance limits to pay some of BP's liabilities (BP wants protection as an "additional insured" under RIG's liability insurance even though the trial court has ruled that according to the drilling contract BP must pay its own liabilities for subsurface releases).
If there's "new" evidence that tends to deflect blame away from BP, wouldn't BP's lawyers at least try to introduce it in the upcoming penalty phase, arguing it should be considered as a mitigating factor or something like that? At that point, it would be up to the judge to decide whether to admit the evidence and consider it, but even if he refuses to do that at least it would be part of the trial record that eventually could be considered by the court of appeal.
And if you want to know what evidence was offered in support of the "fault" arguments against BP, read opening statement in the Phase I trial by the DOJ lawyer representing the US, and/or the one by the lawyer for Transocean. I'm not saying those arguments were "correct" -- particularly with respect to GROSS negligence -- but clearly there was enough evidence to support a finding of ordinary negligence, which is why BP's defense strategy was to acknowledge that the event resulted from the combined negligence of BP, Transocean and Halliburton, while arguing nobody was grossly negligent.
hetedrol, an employer is always responsible for damage suffered by third parties resulting from any on-the-job negligence by its employee(s). This so-called master-servant rule (or, in Latin, "respondeat superior") is not new, and it's widely regarded -- it was even argued at Nuremburg. The rationale is that corporations act through their employees, so if an employee's negligence causes damage the employer is responsible regardless of how well the employee was trained or qualified. So if you were crossing the street between the white lines and suddenly got hit by a UPS truck due to the truck driver's negligence, you would have a remedy against both the driver and UPS, not just the driver.