Late yesterday afternoon, US District Judge Barbier issued a ruling that bans the
“neutral” arbitrator of oil spill claims from repeating his mantra that he is independent of British Petroleum.
“After reviewing the facts and submissions by the parties, the court finds that BP has created a hybrid entity, rather than one that is fully independent of BP,” Barbier wrote in his ruling. “While BP may have delegated to Mr. Feinberg and the GCCF independence in the evaluation and payment of individual claims, many other facts support a finding that the GCCF and Mr. Feinberg are not completely ‘neutral’ and independent from BP … Mr. Feinberg is not a true third-party neutral such as a mediator, arbitrator, or court-appointed special master.”
Apparently, Judge Barbier was not that impressed by the letter Feinberg paid his friend to write, you know…the one that British Petroleum paid for, that its attorneys defended as accurate, that said Feinberg was ethical and neutral…
The ruling by Judge Barbier orders BP, Feinberg and the GCCF to refrain from contacting anyone directly who’s hired a lawyer or who should reasonably have been expected to, and also refrain from referring to themselves as neutral. In any communication, they must state they are acting for, or on behalf of BP. In addition, the ruling states Feinberg and the GCCF must advise anyone they do contact that they have a right to a lawyer and stop advising claimants they don’t need one, and inform them that the GCCF’s pro-bono attorneys are also being paid by British Petroleum.
What Barbier didn’t rule on was the no sue-clause and whether all the claimants who have accepted quick payments are released from the waiver due to being intentionally misled by Feinberg and co. However, it did open up the process and suggest to attorneys representing quick claim recipients to file briefs on their behalf that the court will consider and rule on in the near future.
Well, well, well…Hey Ken, know what that tearing sound was?
It was the sound of the self-righteous cloak you’ve wrapped yourself up in for the past five months being torn up and tossed to the floor, leaving you and your ridiculous claims of being neutral exposed…
Have a nice day.