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September 3rd, 2014

BP Motion Seeks Removal of Administrator Juneau

Alleging that the attorney appointed to administer compensation claims for the 2010 Gulf oil spill has conflicts of interests, allowed corruption of the claims process, and has otherwise mismanaged the multibillion-dollar compensation fund it established, energy giant BP yesterday filed a motion in federal court seeking his removal.

According to the Louisiana Record , the “sharply worded” motion, filed in federal court in New Orleans, accuses fund administrator Patrick Juneau of “several breaches of duty including representing related parties in the suit prior to being named claims administrator, expediting the claims of friendly lawyers and overseeing a claims facility that has seen five senior-level departures in the past year . . .  linked to misconduct or corruption.”

Objective observers have known for some time that many of the claims stemming from the Deepwater Horizon disaster have been preposterously fraudulent and that administration of those claims has been complicit in the fraud.  But none of it has thus far seemed to bother U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier, a past president of the state trial lawyers’ association who is overseeing all litigation stemming from the spill.  And no one’s betting the shrimp boat that Barbier will grant BP’s motion and end his friend Juneau’s tenure as administrator.

Beyond the obvious fraud, BP’s motion also alleges that Juneau has spent more than $1 billion over the past two years administering the compensation fund, or about $1 for every $5 paid out to claimants.

ATRA ally and executive director of Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch Melissa Landry says, “Its hard to make the U.S. government look efficient, but the claims process under Mr. Juneau has made Pentagon procurement specialists look like penny pinchers.  That’s a billion dollars that could have gone — that should have gone — to legitimate oil spill victims, not to self-serving lawyers and administrators.”

 

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