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BP Fighting to Have Settlement Administrator Removed from Post
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BP, BP oil spill, oil spill, settlement administrator

Summary: BP has requested that a federal judge remove Patrick Juneau from his post as the oil spill settlement administrator citing new evidence found in emails.

BP has been able to produce more evidence against Patrick Juneau, the court-appointed Louisiana lawyer who is dispensing the billions of settlement dollars tied to the company’s oil spill in 2010, according to Businessweek.

  
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Juneau claims that BP is feigning outrage in order to arrest a claims-payment process that has turned out to be more expensive than thought. Juneau also said that the company knew about the loyalty to his home state, which he says plays no role in his work.

The claims process supervised by Juneau has not gone how BP had hoped. Lawyers for plaintiffs demanded money for clients whose losses could not be traced to the oil spill. Juneau backed these lawyers, who said that BP agreed to the claims rules, with no cap on payouts. Juneau also said that BP had to live with the deal.

Juneau is a graduate of the Louisiana State University School of Law. He said the following during a press conference in 2012 about the issue, “My message to everyone is, ‘When in doubt, file a claim.’”

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To read more about LSU, click here.

As the estimate for the potential settlement bill went past $9 billion, BP returned to court in front of Judge Carl Barbier and said it was being ripped off. The company claimed that Juneau was approving inflated and sometimes fictitious claims. The claims made by BP showed some credibility in 2013 when an investigation found that there was corruption among some of Juneau’s senior aides working on the project.



BP has repeatedly asked Judge Barbier to remove Juneau from his post due to his reported bias against the company. The company made multiple court filings on October 29 in New Orleans that cite emails and other evidence it obtained.

According to the filing, the evidence shows that Juneau reportedly did not disclose that he served as an attorney for Louisiana and individual claimants looking for damages from BP prior to being appointed as the settlement administrator.

To read more about BP and the oil spill, click here.

BP has accused Juneau of pretending to be “an independent ‘neutral,’” when he actually “spent over 500 hours representing the state of Louisiana and advocating on behalf of its claimants against BP.”

BP is using an email sent from a lawyer named Billy Plauche in October of 2010 as the main piece of evidence to support this claim.

Plauche wrote: “I think it would be great if Pat could attend—he does have the most familiarity with the private claims; and I think folks will be happy to see the work he is doing on behalf of the state to support private claimants.”

In a filing from October 15, Juneau said, “I did not sign any pleadings filed by the state of Louisiana or appear as counsel on any filing made by the state of Louisiana.”

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