Saturday, January 17, 2015

Split the baby

Little remarked upon this week for some reason, but Judge Barbier issued a ruling in the second, "How Much Oil?" phase of the BP Clean Water Act trial.
Edward F. Sherman, a professor at Tulane University Law School, told the New York Times that, even though Judge Barbier didn’t explain clearly how he came to the 4.0-million-barrel estimate, his choice to take the middle road between the two group’s estimates was smart.

“At times we claim precision,” he said, but “there’s no way to precisely find the numbers, so why not pick a number as he did, reasonably between the two numbers provided by the parties?”

Still, the ruling is good news for BP, as it lowers the amount of fines it faces from $18 billion to $13.7 billion.

“Today’s ruling is a major victory for BP and reduces by billions their potential liability,” David Uhlmann, a law professor at the University of Michigan, told Bloomberg.
So after months of considering all the testimony and evidence, Barbier just said, Fuck it we're splitting the difference, and this is considered "smart."  OK.

BP saves something like $8 billion in the process anyway, so good for them. Last night on Informed Sources Erroll Laborde asked if the fine might be more than BP could "withstand."  Doesn't look like he has to worry anymore.

1 comment:

Clay said...

That was a lazy cop-out on Barbier's point.

I understand why he did it and I even predicted it as a possibility, but I hate it.

The government's # was put together by scientists and subject to peer review. Their experts were far more credible. I say that having sat in on more of the spillrate portion of the trial than any other. All of the testimony pointless now.

He has handed BP's blubbering band of dumbass lawyers their biggest victory to date.