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BP Continues to Use Delaying Tactics to Avoid Paying

British Petroleum Plc (BP) was principally responsible for the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that spilled millions of tons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, triggering the largest and costliest oil spill in the history of the oil and petroleum industry. BP and associate companies were found negligent and faced thousands of individual and business claims potentially worth billions, enough to bring the oil giant to its knees. To stave off litigation costs, BP drafted and submitted a proposed settlement program, which was approved by the federal court in 2012. Lafayette lawyer Patrick Juneau was tasked to administer the program. Almost from the start, BP complained about how the claims were being processed, although the settlement agreement merely required business owners in the affected areas to submit financial records to determine if they suffered a loss within the prescribed time period.

BP has taken over the claims administration under close supervision of the courts under new rules that experts criticize as unfairly prejudicial to cash-based businesses such those in the agricultural industry. Out of the 292,800 claims filed so far, 60,525 have been denied and would have to go through the BP claim appeals process, which is strictly timed and difficult to undertake without the help of an experienced BP claim appeal lawyer. Critics of the delaying tactics of BP believe that Juneau was mistaken in trying to placate the oil giant by imposing stricter requirements in making a claim than warranted by the original agreement.

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