BP Takes Spill Settlement Appeal to Full Fifth Circuit

, The National Law Journal

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BP PLC has petitioned the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to review a three-judge panel's decision to uphold the Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement.

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    The Fifth Circuit panels have been in a tough spot, reluctant to call more attention to the disgraceful handling of the BP litigation by District Judge Carl Barbier -- a past president of the Louisiana Trial Lawyers Association. The judge has shown his displeasure with BP lawyers for their audacity in making such a big deal out of the Gulf Coast personal injury bar’s craven willingness to seek settlement money their clients do not deserve. But if BP is to be fairly criticized for anything, it should be for having foolishly assumed a minimum level of integrity among the shady bayou lawyers in New Orleans who, like southern sheriffs with backroad speed traps before the interstates, never hesitate to fleece "rich" outta-towners whenever possible. In any case, if there‘s to be any justice for a company that‘s tried to do the right thing for those who actually suffered becasue of the 2010 Gulf oil spill, the full circuit will reverse its panels‘ tortured decisions and end the racket Judge Barbier‘s good ol‘ boys have been running down there.

    -Darren McKinney, American Tort Reform Association, Washington, D.C.

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