Earlier this week the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals panel which opened discussion as to whether the Deepwater Horizon Settlement Agreement required those submitting claims for certain business losses to provide evidence of causation ruled on the issue.  In a 2-1 decision, to which Judge Clement was the dissenting vote, the Court ruled that the Settlement Agreement did not require additional evidence of causation aside from the purely mathematical formula previously decided upon by the parties. Thus, the Settlement Administrator’s implementation of the Settlement Agreement was correct.  As to the legal validity of the settlement, this panel deferred to the certification panel of the 5th Circuit who has already ruled that the settlement is legally valid.

The majority parted with Judge Clement on whether or not the Court should order the Claims Administrator serve as a gate keeper by ensuring that claims that are not plausibly traceable to the spill do not receive monetary compensation.  The Majority correctly noted that BP belatedly sought to “…override the explicit language disclaiming the need for evidence of causation…” and concluded that “…the parties explicitly contracted that traceability between the defendant’s conduct and a claimant’s injury would be satisfied at the proof stage, that is, in the submission of a claim, by a certification on the document that the claimant was injured by the Deepwater Horizon disaster.”

The saga is not over.  BP will certainly ask for en banc reconsideration of the above ruling.

To stay up to date with the official Deepwater Horizon alerts check out the official website.deepwaterhorizoneconomicsettlement.com