Judge Barbier Responds To Court Of Appeals In Deepwater Horizon Litigation


On October 2, 2013, BP won a reprieve in its ongoing effort to tighten standards and slow claims payments by Claims Administrator Patrick Juneau. BP had asked the court to direct Mr. Juneau to halt payments that did meet stricter standards. At stake for the oil company may be billions of dollars in additional settlement claim payments. The Fifth Circuit agreed in part with BP. In a 2-1 decision, the appellate court reversed the lower court and directed United States District Court Judge Carl Barbier to enter an injunction halting certain payments pending the court’s review of the issues raised by BP in its appeal. On October 3, 2013, Judge Barbier responded to the appellate court’s instruction and entered an order in which he directed as follows:

[T]he Claims Administrator is ordered to immediately suspend issuance of any final determination notices or any payments with respect to those BEL [business economic loss] claims in which the Claims Administrator determines that the matching of revenues and expense is an issue. The Section 6 claims appeal process (filing of notices, briefs, and panel decisions) for similar BEL claims will be placed on hold pending implementation of the Fifth Circuit decision.

(Emphasis supplied). Judge Barbier ordered that claims in which matching revenues and expenses is not an issue should proceed in the normal course of the program’s operation.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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