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RHON JONES: BP attempting to renege on commitment to oil spill victims
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RHON JONES: BP attempting to renege on commitment to oil spill victims

In a forum published Friday, John C. Minge, chairman and president of BP America Inc., insisted BP is trying to honor its commitment to the victims of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and sinking, and subsequent oil spill. This comes even as BP continues to dispute with the court over the interpretation of the Business Economic Loss calculation procedures -- procedures BP helped develop and agreed upon.

In fact, BP has started a direct advertising publicity campaign and direct letter campaign threatening claimants. It is a thinly veiled attempt to intimidate businesses and their lawyers who have properly filed and been paid according to the terms that BP without question agreed to under the settlement agreement.

In the settlement agreement, BP got predictability and eliminated uncertainty, while also giving oil spill victims economic aid when they needed it the most -- now -- not 10 years from now. In return, claimants gave up the right to seek damages extending beyond 2010, as well as punitive damages.

How can BP now complain about oil-spill claims administrator Patrick Juneau and the court agreeing with BP's own description of how the settlement was supposed to be applied to business claims?

BP generates almost $400 billion a year. Under the settlement agreement, BP is projected to pay about three months of earnings to compensate the families and businesses for the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

It's ironic that BP talks about people "getting something for nothing" when that's exactly what BP is trying to do. BP waited until after the three-year anniversary of the spill, after the class was locked in, and after the criminal charges were resolved, before setting off on this anti-settlement (and anti-class member, anti-claims administrator, anti-small business, anti-lawyer, and anti-Gulf Coast) campaign.

BP and its lawyers agreed to the settlement and now they want it changed. It's the old "bait and switch," and it won't work.

Rhon Jones is an attorney with Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.O. Box 4160, Montgomery, AL 36104. Email: [email protected] He currently serves on the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee for the BP Deepwater Horizon Multi-District Litigation. He also serves as class counsel for plaintiffs in the private economic and property class settlement against BP. His law firm represents Gov. Robert Bentley regarding the economic losses for the state of Alabama from the oil spill, and he will be lead trial counsel for the state of Alabama for all natural resource losses the state has suffered. He also has worked cooperatively with Attorney General Luther Strange, who is representing the state of Alabama in the ongoing trial in New Orleans to determine the fault of BP and other defendants.

 -- A Sun Herald Forum


Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/2013/07/02/4774500/rhon-jones-bp-attempting-to-renege.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/2013/07/02/4774500/rhon-jones-bp-attempting-to-renege.html#storylink=cpy 

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