U.S. Supreme Court Ends BP’s Oil Spill Appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court has ended BP’s attempt to undo the settlement it negotiated with Gulf Coast residents and businesses in 2012.  Pursuant to the Settlement Agreement originally agreed to by BP, Gulf Coast residents and businesses will have until early June, 2015 to file their claims with the Deepwater Horizon Claim Center.  BP OilThe Supreme Court’s decision of December 9, 2014 was widely expected by legal analysts.  BP lost its appeal at every level of the federal appellate court system.  As many analysts pointed out throughout the appeals process, BP had made too many statements contrary to its position taken on appeal for the Fifth Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court  to rule in its favor. Specifically, BP agreed with the Claim Administrator’s interpretation of the Economic and Property Damage Settlement Agreement in a letter of September 28, 2012 and BP requested the District Court give its final approval of the agreement on December 21, 2012. BP then completely reversed its position and joined an appeal pending with the Fifth Circuit in early 2013.  As legal experts quickly pointed out, BP’s challenge of the settlement terms previously agreed to was in direct conflict with its agreement to “support the final approval and implementation of this Agreement and defend it against objections, appeal, or collateral attack.”  While unfortunate that BP’s appeal delayed the claims process and payments for almost a year, its ability to contest the Economic and Property Damage Settlement Agreement is over.  It is expected the Claim Administrator and his staff will be working expeditiously to issue claim payments in 2015.  For more information regarding the Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damage Settlement Agreement please contact Knox Boteler at Knox@brwlawyers.com or call him toll free at 1-866-975-7766.