Articles Posted in Class Actions

These FAQs provide preliminary general information regarding the Agreement-in-Principle reached on March 2, 2012 between the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee and BP. It is important to keep in mind that:

The Parries to the Agreement-in-Principle are attempting to complete a final Settlement Agreement to be submitted to the Court by April 16, 2012. Details are still being completed by the Parties for inclusion in the final Settlement Agreement If the Parries are able to timely complete the final Settlement Agreement and it receives preliminary approval from the Court, then a detailed, court-approved notice program will be initiated and detailed information about the final Settlement Agreement will be available for class members.

These FAQs summarize aspects of the Agreement-in-Principle. They are not a complete discussion of that Agreement. The information in these FAQs may be subject to change based upon the terms of the final Settlement Agreement, if it is reached by the Parties.

These FAQs are being made available because many potential class members have raised questions before the final Settlement Agreement is completed. These FAQs are intended to provide general background regarding the transition from the GCCF to the new settlement claims facility and the types of Claims which will be available for processing in the new facility.

This FAQ is not intended to serve as official notice, and has not been approved by the Court, and is preliminary, and subject to change.

THIS FAQ IS DRAFTED BY THE MDL 2179 PLAINTIFFS’ STEERING COMMITTEE.
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On Friday, March 2, 2012, the Plaintiffs Steering Committee was able to negotiate a settlement of claims with BP prior to the much anticipated trial set to begin on March 5, 2012. Two separate settlements were negotiated, which will provide much needed relief to plaintiffs who suffered economic losses, as well those with medical claims. The settlements will be administered by the District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, and seek to fairly compensate individuals affected by the April 20, 2010 disaster. The settlement does not have a cap, which means all claims will be assessed fairly for their own value, as opposed to getting a portion of a settlement pool. BP, as required by United Kingdom regulations, has estimated the cost of the settlement at $7.8 billion.

The settlements include claims that were not previously paid by the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, the organization set up by BP to administer the $20 billion claims fund set up in 2010. These include claims for loss of use and enjoyment of water front property and medical claims. One key aspect of the economic loss settlement is that it recognizes a “one size fits all” approach will not work, and has set forth provisions which seek to fairly compensate the victims of this disaster. The medical claims settlement not only compensates for injuries, but also sets forth a medical consultation program, which provides that the injured are seen by healthcare professionals for the next 21 years. The settlement will also fund an outreach program, which will promote physical, mental, and behavioral health in areas affected by the oil spill.

If you feel you were impacted by the BP Oil Spill and you wish to learn more about your legal rights and the settlement process, you should consider contacting an attorney. Thornhill Law Firm, A PLC has experience with large class action settlements, and for information on how we can help, please contact our office at (985) 641-5010 or by using the Contact Us form on our website.

The Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (“PSC”) appointed by Judge Lance Africk of the United States District Court, Eastern District, Louisiana has been engaged in adversarial discovery process. Although Temple Inland (“TIN”) has begun to comply, many more samples and tests will be required to know the scope of the loss of fish and wildlife, the impact on the commercial fishermen, land owners, water quality and associated use rights. Toward that end, we have scheduled testing. Our objective is to determine the effects of the release(s) and the content(s) of the release(s) through our experts. A preliminary expert report on the number of fish killed has been issued, subject to revision after complete testing in the river.

A status conference is set for February 8, 2012 with Judge Africk. If you are one of our class members and have any updated documentation to support your claim, please be sure to get that information to our office at your earliest convenience.

Thornhill Law Firm filed the Evans class action, which has been established by federal Judge Africk as the lead action against TIN, Inc. d/b/a Temple Inland (“TIN”). All other cases with similar issues and damages are consolidated under the Evans class action in order to efficiently and most accurately work through the legal process. The court has appointed Tom Thornhill as Liaison Counsel and has appointed a Plaintiff’s Steering Committee (“PSC”) to serve with alongside to prosecute all claims against the TIN.

We have initiated expedited discovery in the case including Rule 26 Disclosures required by law where we obtain documents, evidence, and answers to vital questions relevant to this lawsuit. The expedited discovery includes an Order issued on December 12, 2011 by federal Magistrate Judge Alma Chasez to TIN to provide us with all test results issued and all samples taken by TIN. Our objective is to determine the effects of the release(s) and the content(s) of the release(s) through our experts. A preliminary expert report on the number of fish killed has been issued subject to revision after complete testing in the river.

We intend to file a Master Complaint on January 11, 2012, and a status conference was held December 28, 2011 with the Judge. If you are a class action member we will be contacted you in the next sixty (60) days for additional information to support your claim. Meanwhile, if you have any additional photos or updated documentation to support your claim, please be sure to get that information to our office at your earliest convenience.

fish_kill_2008_ar_pic3%20%282%29.jpgHundreds of local residence, fishermen, and workers have embarked on cleaning up the mounds of putrid rotting fish resulting from the discharge of the “black liquor” chemical by-product from the Temple Inland paper mill. Around 450 people in 165 boats deploy early in the morning while St. Tammany Sheriff’s deputies provide monitoring and security as the cleanup workers remove and catalogue the rancid fish. Thornhill Law Firm has filed a joint suit with the State of Louisiana and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries against Temple Inland which “killed, caught, taken possessed or injured fish, wild birds, and other wildlife and aquatic live in violation of state law.” The second class action petition filed through Thornhill Law Firm, on behalf of Terral Evans, Dana Evans, Charles Blanchard and Shannon Williams seeks relief for residents, fisherman, and recreationalist who have “sustained physical, mental and/or emotional injuries, fright, inconvenience, personal and medical expenses and interruption of or intrusion into their person and/or professional lives.”

The black liquor plume has now pushed through to the Rigolets and has been reported affecting crab fisherman as far south as Alligator Point. If you have information or a claim, contact us at (985)641-5010 or toll free 800-989-2707.

St. Tammany News. “River discharge lawsuits begin”