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BP settlement developments | BP continues to fight BP claims

BP Settlement Court Filings Seek to Evade Obligations BP Assumed in BP’s Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Settlement

BP continues to air television commercials bragging on their commitment to the Gulf coast, while at the same time, trying to renege on the promisees it agreed to in writing just this past fall.

BP signed a settlement agreement which included all businesses in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and much of Florida, no matter how far those businesses were located from the Gulf Coast. BP was so anxious to avoid a just trial that it said businesses could collect even if they weren’t involved in tourism or the seafood industry. The businesses didn’t even have to prove that they lost money due to the BP oil spill.

BP recognizes that its oil spill devastated the economies of the Gulf Coast states, and injured businesses that could never prove their losses were caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Last fall, BP was willing to sign a class action settlement agreement which said it would pay BP claims to businesses all over the state based on simple revenue formulas.

Basically, if you lost revenues during the oil spill in 2010, and regained your revenues in 2010, you might be covered by the BP settlement. (There are a few technicalities I’m not covering in this short post, but the test allowed many North Alabama businesses to qualify for BP claims from the BP settlement without having to prove the oil spill caused their losses).

But now that BP has avoided a jury trial of the class action, it is filing repeated court motions and lawsuits trying to avoid its responsibility for paying BP claims. I’ve written a more detailed post at BPOilNews.com saying BP is reprehensible.

If you operate a business in Alabama, I recommend you read the opinion article about the BP Settlement.

Federalize the Oil Spill Cleanup

Over at BPOilNews.com, we’ve published over 200 suggestions submitted by the public for plugging BP’s Gulf oil leak, or for reducing damage from the oil spill. Now I want to make a suggestion of my own. No, I don’t have an idea for plugging the hole. But I do think I have a common-sense suggestion for cleaning up the spill in a way that also minimizes economic losses to people and businesses on the Gulf coast. (Go to BPOilNews.com to read the rest of my suggestion for the Gulf oil spill cleanup.)

Google and the Gulf oil spill at BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig

I’ve recently been blogging (with some help) about the Gulf oil spill at BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig. When I started the blog, I was struck by the fact that there were no pay-per-click lawyer ads when I used Google News to search for articles. But that changed in a hurry. Within a couple of days the lawyer ads began emerging in an ever escalating war to sign up claimants. When mass tort ad campaigns such as this start, I’m usually either involved in it professionally or I follow the campaigns because I find them interesting and, sometimes, educational. As of the time that I’m writing this post, there are seven law firm ads displayed on Google News when you run a “BP oil spill” or “Gulf oil spill” search. Seven law firms and one almost unnoticeable ad by BP.

Perhaps it’s the technology geek in me, or my interest in Internt marketing, but I enjoyed comparing the ads. The lawyer ads all utilized the top line of the ad well, with large blue letters proclaiming something such as “Gulf Oil Spill Lawsuit” or “BP Oil Spill Lawsuit.” BP’s ad, by comparison, simply said “Spill” on the top line. It’s as if they are ashamed to be associated with it, and don’t want to admit which particular “spill” it is they are talking about. But if BP is too embarrassed to shout out its message in a way that competes with the lawyer ads, why even buy an ad on Google? And if BP, a company which had profits of $6.1 billion in the first quarter of 2010, wants to run an ad on Google, why doesn’t it bid high enough to rank higher than sixth out of eight ads?

Somehow the fact that BP is inept in handling its PR makes me even less confident of its ability and intention to clean up the mess it’s making in the Gulf. I’ve written more at BPOilNews.com about BP’s poor PR, including its waffling and refusal to commit to pay for damages caused by the Gulf oil spill. You can also follow my posts about the Gulf oil spill at Facebook and on Twitter @bpoilnews.

Crowdsourcing solutions for the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

We’ve got 3 new posts at BPOilNews.com about the use of social media and crowdsourcing to empower the public to help with the oil spill at BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf. The Louisiana Governor’s Homeland Security Department has an active Twitter account (@GOHSEP)that is well-used, and the Louisiana Bucket Brigade is using crowdsourcing to map locations where oil has been observed. At BPOilNews, we were surprised to find ourselves crowdsourcing possible solutions for stopping the oil flow or limiting the damage to shorelines. [Read more…]

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