BP Deepwater Horizon Spill

The Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill

NOAA - Fisheries
NOAA Fisheries Northeast regional office
The Blowout Preventer- video by Transocean

Supreme Court of the United States

SCOTUSBlog  BP  Exploration v. Lake Eugenie 

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

In re Deepwater Horizon - May 22, 2017 - rejecting in part certain settlement methods

In re Deepwater Horizon - 5th Circuit - rejecting BP challenge to class action approval on damages - March 3, 2014

In Re Deepwater Horizon Opinion of January 10, 2014 affirming (2-1) order of Judge Barbier approving economic and property damage -class action settlement

In Re Deepwater Horizon - Opinion and partial remand order on calculation of losses, interpreting Business Economic Loss Framework, Exhibit 4C (10/2/2013)
Exhibit 4B - Causation requirements for businesses

MDL: Eastern District of Louisiana: 2:10-md-02179-CJB-SS
Hon. Carl Barbier, D.J.

Orders, minutes & entries - Eastern District web site

Natural Reources Damages Consent Decree - by the United States, and the States of Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Missssippi, Florida  April 4, 2016 Penalty Phase
Phase 1 trial - findings of fact and conclusions of law
Factors: 33 U.S.C. 1321(b) (8) Pre-trial Statement of U.S. on "most appropriate penalty"
Reply memo by BP and Anadarko 12/19/2014

What is a discharge?  - District, panel, and en banc Circuit rulings

Phase Two Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, January 15, 2015

Deepwater Horizon Settlement

Slideshow - introduction to Deepwater Horizon settlements

Deepwater Horizon Economic Settlement- official website

Approval per FRCvP 23:  Order and Reasons and Order and Judgment

*Post-remand order - proving causation of damages 12/24/13
Jurist post on Christmas Eve post-remand order of Judge Barbier, fundamentally rejecting BP's challenges.

BP Motion to Remove Juneau as Administrator - September 2014

Order of November 11, 2014 denying motion to remove Juneau

Medical Benefits Settlement

Read: Order and Reasons and Order and Judgment 
Metro North v. Buckley, 521 U.S. 424 (1997)

Court docs (Deepwater Horizon page)
REPORT of former FBI Director Louis Freeh

Liability: Order setting trial plan for limitation and liability (Amended PTO 41, CMO 3) 9/21/11 Doc. 4083
Causes of action pared: August 26, 2011 ruling on motions to dismiss B1 Master Complaint


Oil Pollution Act of 1990 - (OPA) key provisions
EPA - Oil Pollution Act overview
Oil Pollution Act  33 USC 2701 - 2762 index page
Oil Pollution Act 1990 complete text
Elements of Liability 33 USC 2702
Defenses 33 USC 2703
Limits on Liability 33 USC 2704
Oil and Hazardous substance liability 33 USC 1321
Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund homepage;  
OSLTF Reports to Congress

Clean Water Act complete text Limitation of Shipowners Liability Act (1851)
BP waiver of limitation of liability
46 U.S.C. Chapter 305 Exoneration and Limitation of Liability
Federal Water Pollution Control Act complete text

Civil Penalty Policy Clean Water Act (CWA)

OPA  established new judicial sanctions. A person who violates Section 311(b)(3) of the Act is subject to a civil penalty of up to $25,000/day of violation, or up to $1,000 per  barrel of oil or per unit of reportable quantity of CWA-listed hazardous substance discharged. In instances of gross negligence or willful misconduct, these penalties increase to a $100,000 minimum/day and a maximum of $3,000 per barrel or unit of reportable quantity discharged.

RESTORE ACT Penalties - allocation

Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law  - September 4, 2014

Proof of Loss

Deepwater Horizon Claims Center - homepage

Gulf Coast Claims Facility homepage
GCCF Overall Status Report - by Administrator Kenneth Feinberg

BDO - Independent Evaluation - Report to U.S. Department of Justice re GCCF June 5, 2012

Scope of Liability

*Oil Pollution Act of 1990 - (OPA) key provisions
* Liability under the OPA - Judge Carl Barbier, In re Deepwater Horizon,  808 F.Supp.2d 943, 966 (August 26, 2011)
"The Court notes that OPA does not expressly require “proximate cause,” but rather only that the loss is “due to” or “resulting from” the oil spill. While the Court need not define the precise contours of OPA causation at this time, it is worth noting that during oral argument both counsel for BP and the PSC conceded that OPA causation may lie somewhere between traditional “proximate cause” and simple “but for” causation."
Prof. John Goldberg  Memo to BP claims administrator Kenneth Feinberg  re extent of BP's civil liability for damages

Exchange between David Robertson and John Goldberg Mississippi College of Law (recommended)

GCCF  - draft Final Rule - proposed methodology - November  22, 2010
emailed comments on proposed methodology
Public comment by BP

GCCF - Summary of Options for submission of final and interim claims February 8, 2011

GCCF - Payment Options, Eligibility and Substantiation Criteria, and Final Payment Methodology February 18, 2011
Vessels of opportunity - BP FAQ

Supplemental Comments by BP, July 7, 2011
GCCF - Modification to Final Claims Methodology August 16, 2011
Oxford Economics: Potential Impact of Oil Spill (prepared for U.S. Travel Ass'n)
GCCF - Second Modification to Final Claims Methodology - November 30, 2011

GCCF Document requirements

Sample general release

Feinberg Adjusts Payment Methodology to Fishermen Due to Uncertainty : Louisiana Seafood News December 27, 2011


Order imposing civil penalties on BP &Anadarko 2/22/2012

Regulating the process - Judicial supervision or administrative regulation?

BDO - Independent Evaluation of Gulf Coast Claims Facility (summary)

An administrative or regulatory remedy?
George W. Conk - Diving into the Wreck - BP and Kenneth Feinberg's Gulf Coast Gambit - 17 Roger Williams University Law Review 137 (2012)  ABSTRACT

Judicial supervision?
Edward F. Sherman - The BP Oil Spill Litigation and evolving supervision of Multi-District Litigation Judges

Multi-District Litigation 28 U.S.C. 1407
"(a) When civil actions involving one or more common questions of fact are pending in different districts, such actions may be transferred to any district for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings. Such transfers shall be made by the judicial panel on multidistrict litigation authorized by this section upon its determination that transfers for such proceedings will be for the convenience of parties and witnesses and will promote the just and efficient conduct of such actions."

Plaintiffs' motion to supervise GCCF/MDL
Order of MDL Judge Carl Barbier declaring Feinberg an agent of BP, etc.

Supplemental motion to supervise - by plaintiffs

The BP Catastrophe - Hobbled Law and Hollow Regulation Leave Americans Unprotected (Flournoy, et al., CPR - 2011)

Counsel fees
See preliminary approval orders

PRETRIAL ORDER NO. 59 July 15, 2015
(Appointment of Common Benefit Fee and Cost Committee and
Guidelines for Common Benefit Attorneys’ Fees and Costs Reimbursement)
[“Initial Fee Order”]

Judge Carl Barbier - counsel fees holdback order December 28, 2011
from the GCCF website:

AMENDED Order regarding counsel fees holdback
[The 6% hold-back does not apply to claimants who never filed an MDL suit or claim in limitation or state court plaintiffs whose counsel has not had access to the MDL discovery process.]
Plaintiffs Steering Committee: PSC Status Report and Memorandum in Support of Motion to Establish a Reserve Fund

The BP Feinberg Agreement and documents regarding the "independent fund" isue

Services to be rendered to BP by Feinberg Rozen
Declaration that Feinberg Rozen is independent contractor
Stephen Gillers, Opinion letter - Feinberg/BP do not have attorney-client relationship
Declaration of Geoffrey C. Hazard, Jr. re BP/Feinberg relationship
CJ&D letter December 2010  to BP calling for transparency re BP/Feinberg relationship
Compensation agreed between BP and Feinberg Rozen
Full text: Feinberg/BP Agreement

Mukasey to Feinberg, supplemental memorandum re reasonable fees, March 22, 1011

Prof. William Rubenstein: On What a “Common Benefit Fee” Is, Is Not, and Should Be (Download)
3 Class Action Attorney Fee Digest 87 (March 2009)

Phase 2 - N.Y. Times editorial, March 13, 2011

BP Oil Spill Database - Environmental Law Institute

discussion slides - part 1
discussion slides - introduction to BP Settlement

ALI Restatement - Economic Loss - draft black letter rules 1 -13

Issacharoff and Rave, The BP Oil Spill Settlement and the Paradox of Public Litigation, 74 La. L. Rev. 397 (2014) full text at SSRN

settlement  outline and links to key documents
Order of Preliminary approval of settlement classes

In re Deepwater Horizon - 5th Circuit - rejecting BP challenge to class action approval on damages - March 3, 2014

* In Re Deepwater Horizon Opinion of January 10, 2014, 73
9 F.3d 790 (5 Cir)
Affirming (2-1) order of Judge Barbier approving economic and property damage -class action settlement

In Re Deepwater Horizon 732 F 3d 526 (5 Cir.) - Opinion and partial remand order on calculation of losses, interpreting Business Economic Loss (10/2/2013)
 *Exhibit 4C Business Economic Losses

Not a global settlement, but... George W. Conk (commentary)

Businesses by the Beach - lawyers' promotional website

NON-Tort Remedies

S. 1400 - The RESTORE Act
Environmental Law Institute Restore Act page

National Pollution Funds Center - Oil Spill Claims

Criminal plea agreement between BP and U.S. Department of Justice - ELI fact sheet


Environmental Law Institute Gulf Restoration resources

Doing the numbers for shrimpers: 2011

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Project: University of Mississippi


The BP Catastrophe: When Hobbled Law and Hollowed Regulation Leave Americans Unprotected - Center for Progressive Reform (1/11)

Motley Rice - plaintiffs' attorneys BP spill page

Crude Justice | Alliance for Justice (video)

BP spill sparks debate on captive insurers - WSJ

Vanderbilt Law Review: Rigs,Risk & Responsibility
Mississippi College Law Review: Beyond the Horizon: The Gulf Oil Spill Crisis (video)
OPA AND ECONOMIC LOSS: A REPLY TO PROFESSOR ROBERTSON, John C.P. Goldberg, 30 Miss. C. L.Rev. 203 (1911)
David W. Robertson, OPA AND ECONOMIC LOSS: A RESPONSE TO PROFESSOR GOLDBERG, 30 Miss. C.L. Rev. 217 (2011)


Report - National Academy of Sciences 
Macondo Well-Deepwater Horizon Blowout: Lessons for Offshore Drilling Safety

Final Report - U.S. Department of Interior - Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Final Report of National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Defective Cement? - preliminary findings of the National Commission

National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

BP's Internal Investigation Report

In Re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mexico, on April 20, 2010
MDL No. 2179
Transfer order
Gulf Coast Claims Facility

Oil Pollution Liability Act of 1990 full text

MDL - current developments (U.S. District Ct., E.D. Louisiana)

MDL- Appointment of plaintiffs steering committee

Amended complaint - Avocato v. BP - Eastern district - Louisiana (Pacer charges apply)

Video interview with Prof. Richard Nagareda re Claims Facility

Final settlement phase begins - NYTimes November 24, 2010


U.S. DOJ complaint vs. BP, et al.

BP Vessels of Opportunity Program