On the steady march towards final court approval of the BP Economic Loss and Property Damage Settlement that was reached in March of this year, the Court held the required fairness hearing earlier this month. The Judge overseeing the case will soon issue a decision on granting final approval of the Settlement, something both BP and Class Counsel have jointly argued for.
Just as the fairness hearing was taking place, the Settlement Program reached a significant milestone in the issuance of payments or payment offers. According to the latest public statistics provided by the program’s administrator, Patrick Juneau (dated November 19), payment offers totaling $1.1 billion have been made to eligible claimants.
During the fairness hearing, the claims administrator gave us some indication of claimant satisfaction with the offers that are being made. According to the administrator, there is a 95% acceptance rate of payment offers. Perhaps that acceptance rate percentage is even more significant than the total amount of money paid to-date. As we have passed the opt-out deadline, and now the fairness hearing, many potential claimants have wondered if the Settlement really will meet their needs or accurately compensate them for their losses. There is certainly no way a settlement program of this size can be perfect in every way for every claimant, but if a 95% acceptance rate is any indication, it sure seems that claims are being dealt with fairly and accurately.
As a plaintiff attorney, Tom Young has been at the forefront of some of the Nation's worst disasters. In 2015, he was judicially appointed to represent over 200,000 plaintiffs in an allocation proceeding involving a $1.24 billion settlement with Deepwater Horizon contractor Halliburton and rig owner Transocean. Currently, he's focused on representing numerous communities across the country that have been ravaged by the opioid epidemic and are now seeking damages from drug manufacturers and distributors.