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Supreme Court Denies BP’s Bid to Undo Settlement – Filing Deadline Now June 8, 2015

The decision by the United States Supreme Court saw through all the BP smoke and mirrors, denying the oil company’s petition for review, and leaving intact a landmark Settlement for the people and businesses of the Gulf Coast, arising out of the disastrous 2010 spill.

A Deal is a Deal

If anyone had any doubt about what BP intended, you only need to look at one exchange between attorney Mike Juneau, on behalf of the Claims Administrator, and BP:

On September 25, 2012, Juneau wrote to the parties to clarify the Settlement’s causation requirements:

“As to [Business Economic Loss] claims, once a claimant’s financial records satisfy the causation standards does the Settlement Agreement mandate and/or allow the Claims Administrator to separate out losses attributable to the oil spill vs. those that are not?”

Then Mr. Juneau made it clearer:

“Stated another way, once a claimant passes the causation threshold, is the claimant entitled to recovery of all losses as per the formula set out in Exhibit 4C, or is some consideration to be given so as to exclude those losses clearly unrelated to the spill?”

To make absolutely sure, Juneau posed a hypothetical situation:

“A small accounting corporation / firm is located in Zone B. They meet the ‘V-shaped curve’ causation test. The explanation for the drop in revenue is that one of the three partners went out on medical leave right around the time of the spill. Their work output, and corresponding income, thus went down by about a third. The income went back up 6 months later when the missing partner returned from medical leave.

“Applying the compensation formula under Exhibit 4C of the Settlement Agreement, the accounting firm can calculate a fairly substantial loss. Is that full loss recoverable?”

What did BP say?

Yes. “If the accurate financial data establish that the claimant satisfies the BEL causation requirement, then all losses calculated in accord with Exhibit 4C are presumed to be attributable to the Oil Spill. Nothing in the Causation Framework or Compensation Framework provides for an offset where the claimant firm’s revenue decline (and recovery, if applicable) satisfies the causation test but extraneous non-financial data indicate that the decline was attributable to a factor wholly unrelated to the Oil Spill. Such ‘false positives’ are an inevitable concomitant of an objective quantitative, data-based test.” [Letter from BP Attorney Mark Holstein to Juneau. Sept. 28, 2012]

The Supreme Court basically told BP: Enough is Enough. It’s time to live up to the promise you made to the businesses and families of the Gulf: Make It Right.

The Settlement’s standards have been affirmed by the highest court in the land. The time to file your claim is approaching. All claims must be filed by June 8, 2015 or you will forever waive your rights.

Our region’s economy was devastated by BP’s spill. Nearly 50% of all local businesses qualify for payment under the terms of the agreement, with the average claim value exceeding $100,000.

Do not assume you are not eligible. If you experienced any loss as a result of the spill, even if it was indirect,  you should hire an attorney experienced in the BP claims process to evaluate your eligibility. We provide such an initial eligibility evaluation for free and then we are only paid if you recover. If you have no claim, there are no fees or costs.

Supreme Court Amicus Brief Filed by Local Chambers of Commerce

This afternoon The Law Office of Thomas L. Young, P.A. filed an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce, the Ascension Chamber of Commerce, the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce, the St. Bernard Parish Chamber of Commerce, the River Region Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce of Cape Coral. These local chambers wished to inform the Justices of misstatements made by their parent organization, The United States Chamber of Commerce (“The Chamber”), in that organization’s filing in support of BP and the company’s attempt to renege on its own Settlement Agreement.

The Chamber did not seek the input nor approval of its local chamber members prior to filing its amicus brief in support of BP. In its brief, The Chamber purports to speak for “more than three million U.S. businesses and organizations of every size, in every industry, and from every region of the country”, yet it fails to disclose that hundreds, and potentially thousands, of local Gulf coast members of The Chamber have filed claims for business economic losses in reliance on the Settlement Agreement – a Contract – and the very compensation system BP designed, lobbied for District Court approval of, attested to the adequacy and fairness of under oath, and initially defended before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Chamber’s amicus brief continues saying, “One important Chamber function is to represent the interests of its members in matters before the courts.” By supporting BP, The Chamber does no such thing with regard to its local Gulf coast area members.

Supreme Court Local Chamber of Commerce Amicus Brief in BP

Local Chambers of Commerce located throughout the Gulf of Mexico file this amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court on Monday, October 6, 2014 asking the Court to enforce the Settlement Agreement as the binding Contract that it is.

Chamber of Commerce Chamber of Commerce Chamber of Commerce