As the February 27th trial against BP looms in the near future, BP Settlement rumors are flowing into the news. BP is looking to settle and the settlement amount is looking to be between 20-25 billion. This is on top of the $20 billion dollars that was used to set up a cleaning facility. BP was responsible for the April 20th 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil-rig explosion that killed 11 men and dumped enormous amounts of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Judge Barbier will be hearing the case and without a jury to help, BP’s fate lies on his shoulders. This news comes after the new charges that claimants now look at because Barbier decided that every claimant should pay 6% out of their settlement check to be put in escrow for the attorneys spending time on the multi district litigation. This means that even people who are not involved in the multi district litigation will be lining the pockets of attorneys who are not representing their cases this has since changed. only cases at the MDL will be charged the 6%.
This has caused some issues with people and Barbier continues to be under fire for this decision. With the new talk of a possible 20 billion dollar settlement, people may be seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. A BP Settlement could be settled out before the trial but just because they are trying to settle out does not mean that people have to settle. This will be the first of many lawsuits BP will face in the future over the BP Settlement.
BP Settlement Trial
The trial will take place in court room C268 in New Orleans and Judge Barbier will make the decision that will affect BP’s entire future. The court room can hold around 200 people and on February 27th it will be busting at the seams. The multi-district litigation will include the majority of claims against BP, Haliburton and Transocean. It will also include state governments, individuals and businesses who show a loss as a result of the spill, and claims between the three companies on trial. Transocean was the owner and operator of the Deepwater Horizon rig and Haliburton was the contractor that provided the cement that was supposed to seal the well. There are 533 seperate cases rolled into one big trial and there will be more cases added before the trial date. Lawyers are still taking cases and boosting their advertisments to get as many cases in this trial as possible. A commercial fisherman from Louisiana has put in a claim of $4 million from losses from the oil spill. The GCCF did what they have done for many claims and offered out only $25,000 to George Barisich. He has refused to settle and is one of the many cases that has joined the multi-district litigation.
BP Settlement Cases
With over five hundred cases the court documents add up to more than 72 million pages. There are 303 video depositions and over 7700 exhibits in evidence. Ninty firms have worked over 230,000 hours on this case and these are just the private sector attorneys. The Pre trial hearings are getting very interesting. The US claims that BP, Transocean and Anadarko Petroleum are all accountable under the Clean Water Act. This would penalize them anywhere from 1100 per barrel split to 4300 if the spill was a result of gross negligence or wilful misconduct. The US government does not feel they will have any problem proving wilful misconduct from Transocean at the least. As of right now BP and Anadarko is pointing fingers at Transocean and in turn, Transocean is pointing the finger right back. If the judge awards the maximum amount, these penalties could reach 20 billion alone. Regardless of the verdicts there will be appeals and BP will not be out of the woods for a long time to come.
Morgan Stanley believes there anywhere from a 70 to 80 percent chance of BP settling with the US government to pay between 20-25 billion dollars to compensate all federal claims including possible criminal penalties. BP, Transocean, Haliburton, Ken Feinberg, and the GCCF are under severe scrutiny in regards to negligence that caused the oil spill, to negligence and misconduct in paying claims out to the people who suffered from the BP Oil spill. The GCCF is still being audited and criminal charges are a great possibility. Criminal charges have not been filed as of yet but the investigations into criminal negligence will likely cause BP to settle as quickly as possible. The government and BP both are willing to reach an agreement its just a numbers game at this time. BP is going to have to offer a fair settlement in order for people to be happy. If they offer an unfair amount people are going to continue to fight.
Just this week BP has denied the 11.8 million dollar claim from Gulfport. The city put a claim in for over $ million in lost sales tax, over $1 million in property taxes and over $6 million in community damages. BP stated that Gulfport has not given adequte documentation of sales or property tax losses from the time of the Oil spill. BP has already tried to settle out for $76,000 with Gulfport, but the offer was rejected. The city is still hoping that the claim can be settled without having to go to court but does not understand how a claim was worth $76,000 and now is not worth anything.
Again it is important to remember that just because BP settles out does not mean you have to settle on the amount. BP and the GCCF have a history of giving low ball offers and not paying people what they truly lost as a result of the oil spill. This multi district litigation will hold BP responsible and BP will have no choice but to settle out. Do not be the one who settled for less than what was deserved. We have claims adjusters and attorneys who will help you get the compensation that is owed to you and will fight the GCCF, BP, and Ken Feinberg. We are not standing down and are still fighting to help as many people as possible get their BP Settlement.