Oil giant BP PLC has filed a motion to have Patrick Juneau removed as claims administrator in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill litigation, arguing that he is biased and has not been forthcoming about potential conflicts of interest.
The sharply worded 35-page motion filed by BP on Tuesday afternoon caps months of rancor between Juneau, who was appointed in 2012 to oversee the oil spill settlement, and the oil company, which has paid out tens of billions of dollars in damages.
The motion accuses 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 that have been linked to misconduct or corruption. BP claims the bias exhibited by Juneau is longstanding and cannot be extricated from the ongoing claims program.
“With billions of dollars at stake, the Court, the parties, and the public rightly expected that the Claims Administrator would be a neutral, not a partisan,” the motion reads. “Fairness, and the appearance of fairness, required that he be a neutral. Because he is Court-appointed and functions as an arm of the Court, he must be a neutral, free of a disqualifying conflict of interest. Mr. Juneau, however, was not a neutral when the Court appointed him.” Read more...