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On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, leaving in its wake the death of eleven individuals, the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history, and unprecedented economic loss to the Gulf Coast area. We now know that the explosion and resulting economic loss stemmed from BP’s broken promises to protect the safety of its employees and the environment.

On March 2, 2012, BP agreed to an uncapped Settlement Agreement regarding the company's liability for the economic loss caused by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

  • The Settlement Agreement was concluded after more than 12 months of round-the-clock negotiations.
  • BP employed hundreds of lawyers, experts and economists to negotiate and review the Settlement Agreement.
  • On August 13, 2013, BP asked the court for final approval of the Settlement Agreement.
  • BP told presiding Judge Carl Barbier, both in court and in writing, that the Settlement Agreement was in BP’s best interests. Said Bob Dudley, BP CEO, “BP made a commitment to help economic and environmental restoration efforts in the Gulf Coast, and this settlement provides the framework for us to continue delivering on that promise, offering those affected full and fair compensation." (emphasis added)

Fast Forward a Few Months – Buyer's Remorse?

On March 15, 2013, BP frivolously sued the court appointed, and neutral, claims administrator, Pat Juneau. In its complaint, the company requested that the Court block Mr. Juneau from paying otherwise legitimate business claims. Why? Because BP came to the realization that the rules it promised to play by – the "framework" described above by CEO Dudley – might cost them more than their legions of experts previously thought. Now BP seeks a do-over, breaking its promise to tens of thousands of businesses that were counting on the company's word.

Sign our petition asking BP to abide by its stated commitment to Gulf Coast businesses.


  1. Gravatar for lre

    Could this not be considered a slap in the face to the judge ? Also the original estimate was 7.8 billion now it's 8.5 that's only 700 thousand dollar jump ... not much considering BP's net income .

    I believe BP & cohorts are worried that the evidence is starting to show that they actually do meet the requirements to be changed with gross negligence ... i mean it's a list of things and not just around the time of the spill but for years before .

    This is a prime example of the reason some opted out .

  2. Gravatar for Tom Young

    Ire - Thanks for the comment. It is most certainly a slap-in-the-face to the judge as he has already ruled against BP twice on this exact issue. In addition, keep in mind that BP is using this frivolous argument in front of the same judge who who will ultimately determine whether they were grossly negligent. To me, doesn't seem prudent to get on his bad side.

    Unless they have done the math and realized that a finding of gross negligence will pale in comparison to what they will be required to pay should the settlement agreement be upheld as BP wrote it.

    BP's initial estimate was $7.8B. Earlier this year they upped that estimate to $8.5B. Then, after the judge ruled against them on this issue not once but twice, they informed shareholders that they had no estimate of the ultimate cost.

    These guys made their bed...

    As for opting out, I disagree. If BP can play these games with the entire class of tens of thousands of plaintiffs represented by the best legal minds, imagine what they will do with an individual plaintiff with limited funds and an average attorney.

  3. Gravatar for Bert

    Ire - the difference is $700 MILLION, that's a lot of coin any way you look at it. What happens if the judgment bankrupts BP?

  4. Gravatar for Whitney Ross

    BP's Oil Spill created massive economic damage. Paying out $20 billion to those effected won't make the Gulf Coast economy whole, but it is what they agreed to do when they negotiated and committed themselves the the Deepwater Horizon settlement process.

    BP underestimated the amount of damage they caused and now have buyer's remorse that instead of $7.7 billion they estimated, the program will cost more than $20 billion.

    As for BP going bankrupt, $20 billion is still a rounding error for the company. According to the company's latest Balance Sheet they have $19.9 billion in cash in the bank alone.

    They won't go bankrupt, although I think the world would be a better place if they did. This is a bad company.

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