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Class Action Lawsuit BP Oil Spill

Brent Coon & Associates’ legal network employs attorneys with experience and specialization in a broad range of practice areas, including:

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Attorneys

BCA Attorneys

Brent Coon & Associates employs a uniquely qualified and diverse team of in-house and of-counsel attorneys and legal professionals all across the country. Working together as a single efficient unit, our legal team has the specialized knowledge and experience to work any type of case in any area of the country.
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Offices

Brent Coon & Associates has offices throughout the country, including Hub Offices in Beaumont and Houston, TX, Denver, CO and Los Angeles, CA. These Hub Offices, spanning all four time zones, serve as central nodes for BCA's vast legal network of associated law firms and allows BCA and its partner firms the ability to accept and try cases in any courthouse in the country. Click to view our offices >

BCA in the News

Click below to the top stories about Brent Coon and Associates. Or use the menu below to find specific articles.

At current rate Deepwater Horizon claims program could take another decade to process payments

February 6, 2015, 11:30 pm

By Kyle Barnett

In the strongest signal yet that the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement process has ground to a halt, newly revealed court documents show that the number of claims being paid by Claims Administrator Patrick Juneau are now fewer than the number of new claims coming in.

A report filed in court this week by Juneau, whose settlement operation has about 3,000 employees and a budget of more than $40 million a month, shows that nearly five years after the Gulf oil spill the claims facility managed to get out checks to only 1,557 claimants during the month of December. Meanwhile, Juneau’s report said 2,125 new claims came in during the month, adding to a backlog of more than 145,000 at the facility.

Over the latter half of 2014, Juneau reported paying a mere 6,541 claimants, a rate that if it continues may mean it will take up to a decade to process all claims. This apparent lack of progress stands in contrast to the massive and expensive claims processing operation Juneau is running, which, according to court documents, costs roughly $475 million per year to operate.

In recent months trial lawyers from across the region affected by the oil spill have voiced their displeasure about Juneau, who they say has effectively shut down the claims system. In fact, Beaumont, Texas-based attorney, Brent Coon went so far as to file papers in court last fall complaining that some 5,000 of his claims have been held up by Juneau’s staff without explanation.

Plaintiffs attorney Daniel Becnel, of LaPlace, who represents several claimants, said the slow pace has been very difficult for those who were hurt most by the oil spill.

“I think what’s going on now is unconscionable,” he said. “I have an oyster fisherman who has not yet been paid and he lost his crop almost five years ago, and he has been in that business for 55 years, and his son is in that business, and he hasn’t been paid.”

Becnel said Juneau, who collects a salary of $3.5 million a year, has every incentive to delay payouts as long as possible.

While the root of the lag in the claims process is unclear, some trial lawyers say BP is at a fault for burdening the claims facility by appealing awards. However, this accusation is not supported by the record. According to Juneau’s report, BP has only appealed about 7,000 of the 300,000 total claims that have been filed.

Others have pointed to an ongoing fraud investigation by auditors as well as shoddy work practices for the reason Juneau’s operation is all but stalled. In fact, under Juneau’s watch at least five senior executives have resigned or been forced out after coming under suspicion for unethical behavior. In addition, Louis Freeh, a former FBI director, has uncovered several instances of claims fraud in the 18 months he has spent investigating Juneau’s operation.

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BCA in the News

Brent Coon in the News

Check out the latest news
and developments relating to BCA.

At current rate Deepwater Horizon claims program could take another decade to process payments

February 6, 2015, 11:30 pm

By Kyle Barnett

In the strongest signal yet that the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement process has ground to a halt, newly revealed court documents show that the number of claims being paid by Claims Administrator Patrick Juneau are now fewer than the number of new claims coming in.

A report filed in court this week by Juneau, whose settlement operation has about 3,000 employees and a budget of more than $40 million a month, shows that nearly five years after the Gulf oil spill the claims facility managed to get out checks to only 1,557 claimants during the month of December. Meanwhile, Juneau’s report said 2,125 new claims came in during the month, adding to a backlog of more than 145,000 at the facility.

Over the latter half of 2014, Juneau reported paying a mere 6,541 claimants, a rate that if it continues may mean it will take up to a decade to process all claims. This apparent lack of progress stands in contrast to the massive and expensive claims processing operation Juneau is running, which, according to court documents, costs roughly $475 million per year to operate.

In recent months trial lawyers from across the region affected by the oil spill have voiced their displeasure about Juneau, who they say has effectively shut down the claims system. In fact, Beaumont, Texas-based attorney, Brent Coon went so far as to file papers in court last fall complaining that some 5,000 of his claims have been held up by Juneau’s staff without explanation.

Plaintiffs attorney Daniel Becnel, of LaPlace, who represents several claimants, said the slow pace has been very difficult for those who were hurt most by the oil spill.

“I think what’s going on now is unconscionable,” he said. “I have an oyster fisherman who has not yet been paid and he lost his crop almost five years ago, and he has been in that business for 55 years, and his son is in that business, and he hasn’t been paid.”

Becnel said Juneau, who collects a salary of $3.5 million a year, has every incentive to delay payouts as long as possible.

While the root of the lag in the claims process is unclear, some trial lawyers say BP is at a fault for burdening the claims facility by appealing awards. However, this accusation is not supported by the record. According to Juneau’s report, BP has only appealed about 7,000 of the 300,000 total claims that have been filed.

Others have pointed to an ongoing fraud investigation by auditors as well as shoddy work practices for the reason Juneau’s operation is all but stalled. In fact, under Juneau’s watch at least five senior executives have resigned or been forced out after coming under suspicion for unethical behavior. In addition, Louis Freeh, a former FBI director, has uncovered several instances of claims fraud in the 18 months he has spent investigating Juneau’s operation.

View full article

 


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