Why I'm Supporting BP Against the Lawyers
Joe Nocera: BP has already paid the spill victims—lawyers are just being greedy
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2013 11:50 AM CDT
A glove reaches into thick oil on the surface of the northern regions of Barataria Bay in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

(Newser) – BP can afford to pay the settlement for a lawsuit filed against it for the Gulf oil spill—but it shouldn't have to, says Joe Nocera in the New York Times. "BP is the best example I’ve ever seen of a company that actually tried to find a better way," he writes. "Immediately after the spill, it set up a claims process to get money into victims’ hands quickly, without having to file a lawsuit." BP has already paid out $11 billion in claims. So why was it sued anyway? Because lawyers wanted to send a message, writes Nocera: "No matter how much money you are willing to pay victims, it will never be enough to keep you out of the courtroom." After all, the lawyers have their own business model to protect.

Now, he says, the people that stand to benefit are businesses that weren't actually harmed by the spill, and the lawyers themselves, who get more for every business with its hand out. "All over the Gulf, lawyers are advising clients to line up at the BP trough, and they are doing so," he writes. "But how is this righting a wrong?" Meanwhile, BP's CEO has been arguing much the same thing today, telling CNBC that its $20 billion compensation fund has been drained dry by attorneys, with just $300 million remaining. Click for Nocera's full column.

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Showing 3 of 16 comments
JTMullins
Jul 30, 2013 9:19 PM CDT
Maybe BP can help the ecology by plugging old oil wells with lawyers.
Who_Cares
Jul 30, 2013 8:38 PM CDT
Yeah right, if it wasn't for the fact that they know about the lawyers, you wouldn't be able to squeeze a penny out of them, so quit bitching about the lawyers BP, you are the problem, your greedy .... .... and if it wasn't of your greed on cost savings we wouldn't have polluted environment.
backpath2
Jul 30, 2013 7:04 PM CDT
BP screwed up, yes, but remember that it is the oil besotted human race which creates the demand which the oil companies supply.