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Dustlawyer

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Member since: Wed Jan 9, 2008, 10:31 AM
Number of posts: 9,544

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It's past time for 60 Minutes to be up!

There are no more Mike Wallace tough interviews, or Ed Bradley's cool, but honest recitation of FACTS. They did not decide to go back to journalism school after the Lara Logan and Benghazi debacle which we are still learning was actually worse than 1st thought (Lindsey Graham as a source)! No, they did it again last Sunday with their piece about poor BP the victim. It was about as fair and balanced as Fox News. I wonder if they did it for new money, or just because since the Gulf oil spill BP has been one of the largest advertisers in the country, and by far the largest advertiser on the Gulf Coast (local media wouldn't dare print a victim's story negative to BP for fear of losing the ad money).
They gave account after account of fraudulent, or seemingly fraudulent claims. The focus was on BP paying claims that did not have to prove causation. It would have been real simple to attach a copy of the transcript from the "Fairness Hearing" where both sides asked the Court to approve the settlement. Judge Barbier specifically asked BP's attorneys on the record about the scenario where they would be paying claims where the losses could not be traced to the oil spill. BP said they were fine with it because to try to directly prove and/or disprove causation would cost more money. In reality, BP knew that under this deal they do not have to pay tens of thousands of truly deserving victims because they did not recover in 2011. Their accounting graph would not have the proper V shape. They have been able to deny businesses and individuals that everyone agrees suffered do to the spill for numerous technical and documentary issues. This is just another way for them to delay, deny, and defend until the victims give up.
The old 60 minutes would have asked Ken Feinberg some tough questions instead of just letting him tell of the most outrageous claims he remembers. I can see Mike Wallace asking Feinberg:

Mike: "Ken, we just showed a clip of you at one of hundreds of Town Hall meetings you held up and down the Gulf Coast in 2010, and 2011, where you told the assembled residents that you were 'Independent' and that they should not get an attorney because you were independent and fair, and that a lawyer would just cost you money." "First, is that true? Feinberg: "Yes...bullshit,bullshit, bullshit." Mike: "We have here an Order signed by the Judge in this case on February 2nd, 2011, where Judge Barbier stated, 'The clear record in this case demonstrates that any claim of the GCCF's (Gulf Coast Claim Facility which was supposedly formed to resolve claims) neutrality and independence is misleading to the putative class members and is a direct threat to this ongoing litigation, as claimants must sign a full release against all potential Defendants before obtaining final payments.' He goes on to state: '...in this case Mr. Feinberg has been quoted on a number of occasions as publicly advising potential claimants that they do not need to hire a lawyer and will be much better off accepting what he offers rather than going to court. A full disclosure of the relationship between Mr. Feinberg, the GCCF, and BP will at least make it transparent that it's BP's interests as the OPA (Oil Pollution Act) responsible party that are being promoted.' Mike: " Isn't it true Ken that you were not "independent" as you claimed, but as the Judge found, you were actually acting as BP's representative?"

They did not cover the fact that BP, out of the goodness of their little black heart, offered to pay the Plaintiff's Steering Committee (PSC) up to $600,000,000.00 in attorneys fees and expenses to the PSC members if they got the judge who appointed them to reset a trial that was about to start against BP, Halliburton, and Trans Ocean for another year, announce to the court that they have an agreement in principle to settle the case, freeze all settlements for 4 months, get rid of Ken Feinberg and his firm, and complete the Class Action Settlement. Now the PSC would agree to eat dog turds and screw all of the victims in the Class Settlement as long as it went all of the way through so they could get the $600,000,000.00 bribe, uh, I mean "Common Benefit Fund!"
60 Minutes did a great piece on the BP Texas City explosion case from 2005. They featured our client, Eva Rowe, who lost both her mom and dad in the blast. They had producers in our office for weeks pouring over documents and interviewing everyone so that they could get the facts straight. Ed Bradley had come out of retirement (he had cancer he did not tell anyone about) because of what happened to Ms. Rowe and how dirty BP was. He did a great job even though it was hard to be fair to BP since they would not cooperate with the story.
How far they have fallen now. Now it is all about being pro-corporation and anti-labor. In the meantime you will not see Anderson Cooper or Rachel Maddow doing follow up reporting on the coast. The MSM is not countering the propaganda BP has been desperately shoveling saying that they have paid all legitimate claims and all that is left are the fraudulent ones. We have over 6,000 clients who have not received an offer after 4 years. They opted out of the class settlement so they would not waive their right to trial against BP as all victims in the class action had to. We filed their lawsuits and there they sit collecting dust, not allowed by the judge to go forward until all claims in the class action have been resolved. What a joke! Meanwhile, the victims have to see BP's propaganda every time they turn on the TV, including this 60 Minutes broadcast.
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