Tampa, Florida


Email Tom Young Tom Young on LinkedIn Tom Young on Twitter Tom Young on Facebook Tom Young on Avvo
Tom Young
Tom Young
Attorney • (813) 251-9706

BP Business Economic Loss Claim Appeal 2015-1150: Moratoria provision does not apply to training company


The following is an Appeal Panel Decision issued pursuant to Section 6 of the BP Deepwater Horizon Economic & Property Damages Settlement Agreement and the Rules Governing the BP Appeals Process. Links may have been added to assist the reader. The original decision may be found here, as well as a glossary of BP Settlement terms.

BP appeals a BEL award of $122,634.75 pre-RTP to a New Iberia, Louisiana entity that conducts training in various industries, including the oil and gas industry. Its sole preserved appellate basis is that the program vendors failed to adequately investigate Claimant’s business for potential Moratoria losses excluded under Sec. 3.3 of the Settlement Agreement.

First, BP points to claims forms completed by Claimant in the previous GCCF program in which it represents that its business includes “training oil field workers.” Secondly, it points to the fact that several of Claimant’s customers engage in the oil and gas industry and posits that the appropriate NAICS code for Claimant should have been 541690 (“Other scientific and technical casualty services”), and not 611699 (“All other miscellaneous schools and institutions”), since the latter Code does not list safety training services.

In reply, with an included affidavit, Claimant notes that the GCCF forms were completed pro se without counsel and the information filled in was based upon the recommendations of various members of the GCCF clerical staff. Claimant further represents that it has never “specifically” conducted training to the offshore oil and gas industry, and its work did not include offshore operation, then Moratoria issues do not apply by definition. It further represented that in 2009, 87% of its revenue came from the La. Dept. of the treasury, with the remaining 13% coming from local office and onshore clients.

In its third memorandum, BP essentially questions the veracity of the affidavit, and seizes upon the use of Claimant’s use of the “specifically” exception to assert that regardless of Claimant’s attempted limitation, many of its listed clients were in fact impacted by Moratoria losses. Finally, of reference to Claimant’s position that 87% of its revenue comes from the State of La., BP refers to a website of the La. Workforce Commission which includes training regimens for offshore workers.

Since BP filed a third memorandum, out of fairness, this panelist allowed Claimant to reply, which it did in timely and comprehensive fashion. In its reply, Claimant first elaborated upon its reliance upon feedback and advice given by GCCF staffers in completing those pre-Program forms. This panelist accepts its explanation of its good faith reliance upon that advice. Next, Claimant fully explains the scope and nature of its training programs, which focus upon middle management “soft” skills training (such as conflict resolution, effectiveness in meetings, and workplace relationships) as well as safety compliance programs (such as back care and accident causation). While admitting that necessarily some of its training is relevant and useful to many industries, including the offshore industry, Claimant again specifically attests that it has never taught training to offshore employees. As to BP’s argument concerning the La. Workforce Commission website, Claimant specifically denies any offshore training conducted under any auspices, including the State odf La. Lastly, Claimant at great length discusses the specific training it conducted for its clientele in various industries, including some in the oil and gas industry–and specifically attests that all such training was site-specific and none was for offshore work.

After a full and detailed de novo review of this record, this panelist is convinced that the program vendors fully investigated Claimant’s activities and revenue vis-a-vis potential offshore involvement and concludes, as did the vendors, that this award should not have been impacted by Moratoria losses.

As such, Claimant’s final proposal, affirming this award, must be chosen as the correct result.

Leave a Comment

Have an opinion? Please leave a comment using the box below.

For information on acceptable commenting practices, please visit Lifehacker's guide to weblog comments. Comments containing spam or profanity will be filtered or deleted.