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BP Business Economic Loss Claim Appeal 2015-1207: Change in business model not “alternative causation”


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.

Once again, BP appeals a BEL award (of $456,712.80 pre-RTP to a Metairie, La. body shop) on a variation of what essentially is the same old wine in a brand new bottle. Herein, it assails the award in its entirety by positing that Claimant converted in the Summer of 2009 from a full-scale auto dealership to a body shop, with correspondingly less revenue. It then argues that it should not be liable for profits lost from an overall business operation “that ceased to exist” before the Spill.

Many prior decisions of this panel have resisted similar attempts to undermine not only the express terms of the Agreement, but also its uniform construction in various decisions of both the District and Appellate Court concerning alternative causation arguments. These include appeals concerning fires, tornadoes, voluntary remodeling, and other similar instances ostensibly bearing no relationship to the Spill.

As has been documented extensively, BP in the Agreement agreed to a causation standard involving mathematical formulae regardless of external factors. It has made its bed and must now sleep in it. The

Final Proposal of Claimant, affirming the award of the Administrator, must be chosen in a baseball appeal where BP simply proposes either an unwarranted remand or $0.

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