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BP is appealing that some of the claims made by businesses as part of its multi-billion dollar settlement were false, or at least over exaggerated, and has sent out letters to warn those businesses they may have to pay the compensation back if their appeal is successful.
BP states that claims administrator Patrick Juneau rewrote some of the wording of the class-action settlement, which could result in billions of dollars more being paid to claimants, but the steering committee contend that BP was well aware of the details of the deal, and agreed to the rules for calculating compensation.
The steering committee, who negotiated the settlement deal with BP, is not happy, claiming that BP should not have any direct contact individual claimants or their lawyers, but Geoff Morrell, a spokesman for BP, has assured that the letters are not legally entitled, and merely intended to notify the claimants that they may have to return the money.
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BP’s lawyer, Daniel Cantor, wrote in the letters: “You may wish to advise your client to consider the effect of such potential obligations for budgeting and planning purposes and in relation to any financial statements or other financial reports and disclosures submitted to regulatory agencies or other third parties.”
Personally I think that BP is acting responsibly, allowing companies, who may not have been aware of the situation, to budget for the possibility of returning the money, rather than letting them spend it all and then finding themselves in financial trouble in the future. However, the lawyers for the sterring committee, James Roy and Stephen Herman, angrily commented that, “no process exists to alter the amount of an award after it has been paid.”
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com