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The Deepwater Horizon Claims Program is Up and Running Again

The Deepwater Horizon Economic Settlement Program (DHECC) is once again processing claims to payment despite BP’s best efforts to stop the claims payment process. Claims Administrator Pat Juneau and his staff have been working overtime to get the program re-started after BP’s bitter fight to rescind the Settlement it negotiated and agreed to in 2012. Multiple efforts by BP to stop the claims process have failed in the appellate courts. Even though BP has recently sought the Supreme Court’s review of the Fifth Circuit’s rejection of the company’s causation arguments, the developments of late have been very encouraging.

Understandably, some frustration can be expected given the amount of uncertainty the claims program has had to deal with in the last few months thanks to BP and its unlimited resources. BP has continued to attack the Settlement, the Court, Claim Administrator Juneau, his staff, various claimants and their lawyers, and has launched a multi-million dollar ad campaign to smear the claims program nationally. In addition, the claims program is trying to implement the new matching policy (Policy 495) which now requires that a claimants’ revenues must be “sufficiently matched” to their expenses i.e. financial statements must be revised to sufficiently match revenues and expenses. Suffice to say, the claims program has been under an immense amount of pressure and uncertainty – all created by BP – but the lawyers in our firm who are involved are very optimistic the program will weather this storm and get back to making citizens and businesses of the Gulf whole.

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