FSG Chairman and CEO Marc Vellrath recently prepared reports analyzing two settlements between BP and various plaintiffs related to economic and property damages caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and effects of the oil spill on the health of cleanup workers and Gulf region residents. Dr. Vellrath was assisted by FSG Managing Director Jeff Andrien, FSG Principals Gary Stahlberg and Eileen Reed, and other FSG consultants.
Halliburton Energy Services, Inc., filed objections to the proposed settlements, relying in part on Dr. Vellrath’s findings and opinions. Vellrath concluded, among other things, that the proposed economic damages settlement class was “sprawling and inherently fragmented,” comprising “an arbitrary aggregation of potential claimants with very different circumstances, very different claims, very different interests, and very different kinds of injuries.” Vellrath also concluded that payments to claimants would not be reasonably related to actual injury and that the losses and medical conditions addressed by the settlements were not clearly caused by the DWH spill.
Interestingly, BP recently filed an “emergency motion” contending that implementation of the DWH economic damages settlement “systematically produces illogical and absurd compensation awards to [business economic loss] claimants,” and that it is paying “hundreds of millions of dollars, and perhaps billions, to claimants with ‘losses’ that do not exist in reality.” These outcomes are a direct consequence of the fundamental flaws in the economic damages settlement that Dr. Vellrath cited in his report.