Friday, October 31, 2014

BP: New evidence backs call to oust spill claims czar

BP: New evidence backs call to oust spill claims czar: "NEW ORLEANS --

BP is turning up the heat in its efforts to remove the claims administrator it blames for "hijacking" its multibillion-dollar oil spill damage settlement with individuals and businesses.

It presented emails and billing records it says prove that Patrick Juneau helped individual claimants in their disputes with BP during his time as a contract lawyer for the state of Louisiana, prior to becoming a neutral administrator of BP's settlement with some of those same claimants.

 The oil giant first asked a federal judge in September to oust Juneau, the Lafayette lawyer BP and plaintiffs jointly supported two years ago to run the court-supervised economic settlement claims program.

 BP said then that it had learned, belatedly, that Juneau had a contract with the state of Louisiana in 2010 and 2011 advising the government about BP's pre-settlement claims process, run by Ken Feinberg. The company said Juneau's work for the state had been adversarial to BP and his failure to disclose it during the process of selecting a settlement administrator should disqualify him from continuing in that role.

 Juneau responded earlier this month by arguing that BP was not being "candid" with the court, was taking some of his comments out of context and was mischaracterizing his work for Louisiana. He called himself simply a "liaison" who "did not serve as a lawyer in the matter in controversy.""

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