The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

July 19, 2013

Judge refuses to suspend BP settlement payments

(Continued)

"We didn't sign up for a deal in which this type of corruption would enter the program," BP attorney Jeff Clark told Barbier before he ruled.

Plaintiffs' attorneys say the company hasn't provided any evidence that Juneau has improperly paid any claims.

BP spokesman Geoff Morrell said the company disagreed with Barbier's ruling and would review its legal options.

"There is a material risk that payments going out the door have been and continue to be tainted by possibly fraudulent or corrupt activity, and BP should not be forced to bear the risks of improper payments pending the outcome of Judge Freeh's investigation," Morrell said in a statement.

Clark, the company's attorney, said BP's request to halt payments until after the investigation was relatively modest because in many cases it won't be possible to recoup fraudulent payments.

Stephen Herman, one of the lead plaintiffs' lawyers, said BP agreed to Juneau's appointment and was pleased with his work before a recent dispute over his interpretation of settlement terms governing business claims.

"Now he's become their scapegoat," Herman said.

Rick Stanley, one of Juneau's lawyers, said BP's request to suspend all payments was unnecessary. Juneau's internal probe of the misconduct allegations hasn't turned up any evidence that Sutton or his wife could have manipulated the calculation of claims payments or had any "undue influence" on policy decisions.

"They had some involvement in those policies, but Juneau was ultimately responsible," he said. "That is his final decision."

Barbier has authorized Freeh to conduct an independent investigation of the alleged misconduct and take a broader look at the claims program. The former FBI director hasn't indicated how long it will take to complete his investigation.

Text Only
State and Nation
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee