Co-Lead Counsel Responds To NY Times Columnist’s Critique Of BP Settlement
To the Editor:
Re “Sympathy for the Devil,” by Joe Nocera (column, Aug. 2):
Joe Nocera unfairly characterizes the settlement BP reached after its 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In order to treat all claimants equally and fairly, the settlement agreement — which BP for more than a year negotiated, co-authored, agreed to and sought court approval of — mandates the use of transparent, objective formulas to determine eligibility and compensation.
We take umbrage at Mr. Nocera’s description of certain claims as “bogus.” These are claims that the claims administrator, the district court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and even BP have all agreed are compensable under the terms of the settlement. As Judge Leslie H. Southwick of the Fifth Circuit wrote, “There is nothing fundamentally unreasonable about what BP accepted but now wishes it had not.”
The answer to the question that Mr. Nocera poses in his column — “What does it mean for a company ‘to do the right thing’ after an industrial accident?” — is simple: Honor your word. Abide by your contract. Do not break your promise to the entire Gulf region whose economy you devastated.
STEPHEN J. HERMAN
JAMES P. ROY
Plaintiffs Lead Counsel for plaintiffs in the BP/Deepwater Horizon litigation.
New Orleans, Aug. 5, 2014
Click to see the Letter to the Editor on nytimes.com
The U.S. Supreme Court declined a request from BP to halt payments to businesses hurt by the devastating 2010 oil spill. BP asked the Supreme Court to block payments while it tries to get the court to review the lower courts’ decisions upholding the settlement the company had already agreed to, but the highest court in the land refused to block claim payments.
For the entire story, please read the following Washington Post article:
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Lawdragon, a legal news resource and national attorney database, has released its annual list of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America. DWR&E partner James P. Roy was among the attorneys chosen to the 2013-2014 list. He is 1 out of the 7 chosen from Louisiana and the only attorney from Lafayette to receive this prestigious honor.
The Lawdragon 500 are selected from a combination of submissions from law firms nationwide, an online ballot that allows the general public to vote for and comment on their favorite lawyers, and Lawdragon’s own editorial research.
For more information, visit www.lawdragon.com.