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Tom Young
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Queen of England asks U.S. Supreme Court to give BP a pass

12 comments

The Royal Family must not be aware of Justice Scalia’s distaste for Amici. See tinyurl.com/scalia-amicus.

Perhaps Her Majesty has not read The BP Corollary or otherwise does not understand the devastation her country’s British Petroleum wrought on the Gulf of Mexico and the American people? Or maybe she wishes we could revert back to the Thirteen Colonies so that the United Kingdom could simply tell our judiciary what to do and be done with these peasants?

This afternoon attorneys for the Queen filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court styled, Brief of Her Brittanic Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as Amicus Curiae in Support of BP. Seriously, that’s what the attorneys called the document. Referring to their client as the “Brittanic Majesty” likely won’t garner much sympathy in these parts.

That said, Her Majesty’s timing was impeccable, coming mere hours after United States District Court Judge Carl Barbier handed down a 150+ page ruling finding that the convicted corporate felon that is BP was grossly negligent and engaged in willful misconduct that lead to the Deepwater Horizon disaster which killed 11 Americans, destroyed the Gulf of Mexico, and wrecked the economy of the Gulf Coast (particularly Florida).

The Royal Family is real sorry for your losses, but…

Did Her Majesty’s barristers miss former BP CEO Tony Hayward’s 2010 description of the Deepwater Horizon project as “akin to outer . . . space exploration”? Or the testimony of drilling expert Dr. Alan Huffman cited in today’s ruling by Judge Barbier saying BP’s drilling operation on the Deepwater Horizon was “one of the most dangerous things [he] had ever seen in [his] 20 years’ experience”, calling it “totally unsafe”?

And do I even need to address the years of manipulation, slight-of-hand, deceitintentional misrepresentations, and half-truths perpetrated by BP management and counsel over the past two years?

Does Her Majesty condone the following behavior as described in Judge Barbier’s ruling from last Christmas Eve:

“BP not only took the position that causation under the Settlement was determined exclusively through [the formulas in] Exhibit 4B, it promoted Exhibit 4B as providing a benefit to claimants in that it was ‘more than reasonable,’ ‘more than fair,’ ‘objective,’ ‘transparent,’ ‘standardized,’ ‘economically appropriate,’ ‘consistent with . . . economic reality,’ and an ‘efficient’ method of establishing causation. Such attributes, BP claimed, were part of the reason the Settlement deserved Court approval. … This Court accepted BP’s previous position when it certified the Settlement Class and approved the Settlement on December 21, 2012. The Court further finds that BP’s change of position was not inadvertent.

Judge Barbier echoed this sentiment in a similar statement from a separate ruling on the issue in late November 2013:

“BP accuses the Claims Administrator of ‘rewriting’ and ‘systematically disregarding’ the Settlement Agreement. To the contrary, when it talks about causation, if anyone is attempting to rewrite or disregard the unambiguous terms of the Settlement Agreement, it is counsel for BP.

“Frankly, it is surprising that the same counsel who represented BP during the settlement negotiations, participated in drafting the final Settlement Agreement, and then strenuously advocated for approval of the settlement before this Court, now come to this Court and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and contradict everything they have previously done or said on this issue. Such actions are deeply disappointing.

Here’s hoping the recent New York Times article describing Justice Scalia’s distaste for faux amici is accurate. Not sure there is any less of a “friend of the court” than our former ruler, one we fought a war to distance ourselves from.

12 Comments

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  1. Eyeswideopen says:
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    God save the Queen.

    In her brief she failed to mention the 2,000 claimants that have active Bankruptcies.

    Or the 3800 Failed Business claimants.

    What about the 4200 claimants that failed causation.

    And Kenneth Feinberg in his brief he failed to mention the Final BDO report not to mention the fraudulent inducement of the GCCF releases.

    Those 5k and 25k offers taken sure save BP tons of money.

    He had the clients data knowing full well how much was due and still offered pennies on the dollar to people effected under a state of emergency.

  2. Richard Nelson says:
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    You probably know this and are just being cute, but …the key word in the title of the brief is “Government”. This is the British government’s brief, not the Queen’s personally. In Britain (as in all the countries where she’s Queen, incl. Canada, Australia, New Zealand) the government acts in her name, but doesn’t ask her permission to do so. :-) It’s actually like U.S. state and federal governments acting in the name of “the People”.

    Also, there hasn’t been a Queen (or King) of England since 1707.

  3. Digger Earles says:
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    Great job as always Tom. Thoroughly enjoy your articles.

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    The BP Corollary reminds that BP is ultimately controlled by Lord Ashburton, one of the Queen’s Knights of the Garter, the highest rank the Queen can bestow. The filing is a personal favor to him but speaks to the fact that those few who control the world are above all law and will even give a slap down to SCOTUS.

  5. BeachedByBP says:
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    Hey Tom,

    Eyeswideopen is spot on –

    BP believes and is outraged that the MDL settlement is being interpreted in favor of Business Economic Loss (BEL) claimants and payments are going to undeserving folks. The BEL is just one of 12 categories under the MDL which also includes “Start-Up” BEL and “Failed” BEL. In an obscure section of the DWH Settlement website one can find actual tabulated statistics for MDL settlement. http://www.deepwaterhorizoneconomicsettlement.com/docs/statistics.pdf

    As of Sept 4, 2014, out of 4,785“Start-Up” businesses, 500 had accepted over $100 million in offers for a settlement rate of 10%. Out of 3,412 “Failed” businesses, just 30 had accepted offers totaling just over $3 million for a settlement rate of less than 1%.

    So a multi-generational family business that ceased operations as a direct result of the illegal BP discharge would have more likelihood of a settlement if it were a mere “Start-Up” on its very first days… Where is the BP and Queen’s outrage over this obvious failing of the MDL? Surely this interpretation is flawed as well…. Why so quiet BP? Let’s rewrite this as well!

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    […] View Original: Queen of England asks U.S. Supreme Court to give BP a pass […]

  7. Andy Boyle says:
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    Would have been nice, in the sense of journalistic integrity, to have actually read what was in the brief as opposed to accepting your word bite and misnomer, Queen of England asks US Supreme Court to give BP a pass. By laughing at your own jokes, does that make them, funny?

  8. Tom Young says:
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    What’s your point Andy?

  9. Trisha Springstead says:
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    I think Andy wants to read the Full Brief if that is what he wants here you Go Andy:
    http://www.laed.uscourts.gov/OilSpill/Orders/9042014FindingsofFactandConclusionsofLaw.pdf

  10. radiomankc says:
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    Our government also pleads on behalf of OUR industries as well. this is nothing peculiar. just enjoy it. Our supreme court will probably go along with it, since they too have been bought out by OUR oil industry… Bush appointments.

  11. Tom says:
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    Her Majesty must not realize that in America no party (including BP) is allowed to appeal it’s own consent judgment. The writ application will have to be denied for this reason alone.

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