WWL>Topics>>8-6-14 11:10am Garland: on the lawsuit against BP

8-6-14 11:10am Garland: on the lawsuit against BP

Aug 6, 2014|

Garland talks with author John Barry and Rob Verchick of Loyola University about why Gov. Jindal is delaying signing a law he supported that could cost BP billions of dollars in fines.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

If you listen to a good thing -- it all you're probably aware that we've done their whole rap to show notes. On -- sell things who was general -- authorities attempt to -- them not to imply a lawsuit against 97 oil companies. That. Sure looks like they've they've violated their permits. When their destroyed. A lot of our wetlands there and the people who disagree all we reached -- to Lebanese. Being the main reason you know -- and Giroux goal weight and everything I've read them -- -- on the equipment. Everything a road over the years suggests that true but. Still -- we don't have any control over the Lebanese I don't think we consume. A room -- some traffic that. And bottom line is. They've. It to me it looked like they had an agreement in the violated. And we go back to. Here of what we need is met -- fifteen billion dollar. To make sure we can all -- it's that simple. And in more probable. 7200. Billion to make sure we consume leader we need some help. And we're gonna -- at all over the place. And -- businesses chose a legitimate cried to. We had we had thought of his signature tension. There have been a lot of benefits -- -- over industry in this state all absent the after a long time world where it bought. Can we sit down and talk. Because we Kenyans. Who have we get some more money while we're outlets. After the legislative session. There there was big for fight. Over those. And the legislature decided. The governor and legislature. Have the legal ability to kill. The lawsuit. And and they said at bats that we're in -- and put it in two days ago pickup in news report. That says the building that killed in a crucial lawsuit. File by the New Orleans are you of the authority. Remains and so. So it's a good number of people from that renders them. One government and of course Rios all the -- people in his usual no response but we're Jones Barry. I was red cells these museum of flood protection authority when that was. While in the lawsuit and it isn't. If not the author of one of the show that I appreciated -- My pleasure island so let's let's let me say one thing about -- -- opening about the -- to. Everyone associated with the lawsuit recognizes there are multiple causes one of them and and maybe. Statewide the single biggest cause. Conceivably could be -- But there is a big difference between the levees and what the industry did. Aside from the fact that you can't -- the federal government. A society as a hole made that decision. To build those Lebanese. New Orleans baton reduce the industry in between not a that would exist. Without those Lebanese. And those levees -- have unintended consequences. Which are hurting us now what the industry did is quite different. You know. That was it and you know they were given an opportunity. Two. Exploit the natural resources loose today. And make a profit. Which I am all for and as you've heard me say before you know like a lot of your -- as I used to work. The industry myself. But in return for the opportunity to make a profit. They made certain legal commitments. And what the losses in the in those commitments required them. To restore our. In. Damaged them restore the land limit the damage that they did and what the lawsuit is about is getting them to meet. They are legal I've obligations. You know I am not an environmental activists I am a law and water act and I believed dead. The industry is not above the law and should be required to Obey the law and honor the contractual obligations. So they compared the Lebanese. Two. What -- did the industry. Did I mean that's just red. But you know that that's said that as -- make that -- monitor and all the times I've been five members. I'm glad I'm glad you do that this being called the -- and I know Guillen. Went on Wednesday. But -- and we'd be doubles and you're writing to -- in in that this area house for those lefties and without the latins we wouldn't be here. But we also as for cheap gas and long we -- for a putt on the job. Whereas for. Probably the largest -- of our budget. To go get the oil stood in one way. We did the same thing with the oil company and we did but the levees -- QB here. Without the money without the jobs. And then we won't achieve that book. Well as Simon -- complete true that analogy I mean New Orleans. And bad news and we that area of the country drive. Before there was an oil industry. Throughout the nineteenth century. In fact well for -- of -- -- was the per capita wealthiest city in the United States along time before the oil industry. In the 1920s. The industry did exist but it was not anything like what could be game. In the 1920s. New Orleans would still by far. The most vibrant. A city in the south the entire south including. Texas to Florida and so forth. Economic. Purposes so was not dependent on the industry and and again. Everybody wants cheap gas. Cheap electricity -- You know and the industry is providing. That way. Compensation for back you know their -- making a profit that should make a profit they have to make a proper and when being does that. But part of the cost of doing business. Why isn't there -- legal obligation. Which have not met. And that was to keep from destroying land and minimize what destruction was necessary. Are -- forward to guard. Her stricken though we've got to -- than in the mountain time. A woman as two very difficult question who would take the break. Why is it that somebody with the birds legions -- high school degree. Debate history with the story. As far as some of their religion let's take your great content right that. Good start out there -- reading from the area June 12. News story. Instead of building the killing of coach wrote -- suit filed by New Orleans -- authority remains. And so on and on governor Jindal steps. Let's go to tech whom. Person who I have a lot of respect for news says is gentle soul in this from June 6. We've Jung very -- -- one of the authors are the laws through the lawsuit. John MRM are wrong is the governor sultan. Yeah that's my understanding that it -- -- But the idea you know the and that's it would -- come along policies vetoed it which is certainly been. And the news of course. Is that yesterday. The attorneys for the -- authority did filed a motion for summary judgment. That the law. Doesn't apply. Choose the -- authority. And it is unconstitutional. So we've we and I think a lot of people expected something like that. It and it's now happened. And in a broad one. Excerpted says he believes that the courts -- did hear. That. What you're talking about the while -- -- that the courts apply the measure's provisions now Roland. Your -- over the legal position in the local government. Is that part of the losses. Well not but I mean there are. -- I don't. Think so in terms I mean the they're separate issues here one is the lawsuit itself the other is I'm sure you recall. That. -- plan that bill was passed immediately. This year was. An op Ed piece written by Robert project -- listing having nine as soon. And at Loyola law school and he ended up with a total of 116. Legal scholars. Signing on it is analysis. That said this law. Was dangerous because of its. Intended or unintended consequences that had not been to do with the lab report lawsuit. End that it might affect BP claims but even it it didn't affect BP claims. It took away future rights of action. Local governments it. For example there was still inside the coastal zone that they can do anything about it. And then at four. The recommendation from these 116 dollars and also the attorney general for the state was vetoed the bill. And that's why there may have been some confusion whether it sign it and that is the actually Jindal at a press conference to sign the bill. And the attorney general. Issued this. And now also. That was based on professor -- -- or maybe independence and amateur. And the and then Jindal delayed signing the bill. He there was no ceremony when he signed my understanding was that he sign it cargo and it is. Airport to go to South Carolina. But you know as I said earlier even -- he would not sign -- -- veto it it would become law anyway. This Libyan correct because I am reading from the report to say that the governor hadn't signed. Or maybe didn't actually sign and I I don't recall seeing that. But it is irrelevant while others -- -- -- regardless of more with the concerned was bill. Would prevent terrorists it's suits from going forward concern BP spill and Joan -- Jefferson urged president his lawyers informed him no problem when the affected in the two of the things one. These two of the federal act under which the parents soon. Free and state law it's. Well that was the original interpretation. And why. The -- but but as they look more closely. John you know -- a few days later. Became one of the past presidents who called upon. Jindal to veto the bill he he reversed his position. But that is the position of those is save the world -- no effect. In the beat -- litigation. But whether that's true enough. It is silently. Going to look back claims going forward whenever there is an accident in the future in the councils. And I mean that's just law. -- the claim. The it's all gonna be okay because legislators. Made clear they didn't interior and do it in the group within view of the flames rising from the BP's that. Well this keynote legislators. Have a lot of intense. But what matters is what the law says and -- how the courts determinant. So. You know there is there I mean is there. Any laws that have been cats everywhere that warrant potentially some unintended consequences. The intent is not. What matters. Do it's a law. And I ended but again whether it does or does not affect beat -- And there are plenty of people think it does those on sixteen legal scholars who use sign that the analysis. It clearly. Affects. Future claims -- accepts. And and did get via a bit rough idea. -- what would happen. You have to bill a bill legislative. Ball goes in the play news. What could happen when it comes to Paris should recoup some BP money would come from Brooklyn repairs won't what's effective. Well it -- -- legislation. Does in fact. Impact. Claims can be did. You know -- -- it I mean it does cut out a lot of the guys that Paris questions -- -- the state claims would go forward. Individual. Claims would go forward. -- restore act would go forward. By the individual local governments which have. You know virtually all everybody uses and so has ruled the Levy boards in BP also. All those would be. Of factor -- -- might be thrown out. You can and if there's a settlement. Then. That would be factored into the risk. That law affecting those times. Would probably be factored. Into any settlement negotiations cruises Salomon were reflects. Risks. At how much someone's going to -- So as long as a possibility it's hanging out there it's damaging. Where is the other national Oceanic atmospheric administration. Come into all the goods. Well that's another issue I think the the -- says is that. I mean federal law says that -- -- change is that cool coastal zone management act. Then. They have to be approved in advance by the federal government. Before. If you did that doesn't happen and -- federal monies flowing to this -- in those programs would be affected. And could be canceled. This -- certainly. Did not get prior approval. From the federal government. So that's another risk I mean all these things are reasons why it made great sense. Not to pass a law that made great sense. The -- the law however law I mean the bill was passed. And it is the law now. Going back to what the Florida authorities. Attorneys. Did yesterday there there -- asking how important arguments. There are saying that the laws unconstitutional. -- they've got a lot of pretty good arguments. For that. It. One of the problems is there's actually two separate -- one whether the law applies to the plot of Florida and separately. Whether law. Is unconstitutional. There may actually be a problem if they win the first argument. That the law doesn't apply to the -- authority that you never get to the second argument. Whether the law is unconstitutional. Someone else would have to challenge. The constitutionality. Of the law. I think it's one of the biggest mistakes legislature. Is made in a long time. And you know why how they could -- drafted something. That poor quality is beyond me you know I think. Yeah I mean I've read the briefs submitted yesterday by the attorneys I think it's pretty powerful but yeah. You know you never know how to judge is -- world. Jolo a -- bigger boobs is always appreciate -- and look. I don't mind -- do need more history lesson should. 'cause I think you know that was something you said it was not quite accurate you made me lap when he putts plus there's no reason someone. With you know who dropped -- -- built for that matter doesn't know something that is going. Was it don't mean anything. Yeah but only till Monday July approved with a -- these areas in the -- -- scores. Better to do on the outrage at the -- but you know -- Are coming up next. Gonna talk to the lord of the John mentioned the ago. And number hundreds and sixteen. Other -- -- that said. The legislature. What you're doing with this lawsuit against -- oil companies. Isn't legal. Coming right. Welcome back -- we continue with the what Joseph we're gonna do more and more of these go back to -- Created a lot of concern a lot of attention. In the media is infamous -- covering something as long as it's pure intention. And then dropping -- Boone followed up on a regular -- we go back into all that when it is. The status or groups that is concerning the -- -- -- please send the bill for sixth in the line. Don't want in the legislatures. Said. Is gonna knock down the lawsuit filed by of the southeast of here in the plugged a -- Against 97 oil companies. We're violating their agreements and destroying -- And when the we have vote -- over university. President and raw temperature. You review. -- treaty Morton shear in bar removal. Of Loyola -- welcomed -- really appreciated the car. If by Barbara noted correctly. You were quoted as saying -- as before six from the line and brought up to proponents suits say from the pet issues related to boil it BP oil spilled from going forward. -- -- -- that he's still feel. Yeah I definitely still feel that way the what was -- you -- the senate bill was of course now passed into law signed by the governor it's it's called back to five. 44 now. And it purports to it it is you point out that purports to end this -- liberty lawsuit but. Many academic scholars and we got to -- looking at this -- June. We concluded. That it actually imposes a very high risk to -- -- claims and weaken the ability parachutes. To get its settlements. The second thing that it does which is also. Of great concern is that I think that this act. Now that it's -- law. -- might also prevent Louisiana parishes from pursuing claims for future. Accidents in coastal lockers like that the bursting of Arabia. A pipeline of plaque commence for instance or some sort oil spill. That that -- that occurs within the coastal waters so this isn't just about BP although that's bad enough it it's also about the future of any other accidents -- How would that occur about how would that affect all there. Potential lawsuits. Well the that act and and it's important to see the tactic is it's not written I have to say in it in a very. It it it it's convoluted activists would put together you know in a last minute effort to try to put the -- to try to get something out of the government could fine. And what it ends up doing is again -- preventing what it calls local government entities which is parishes. From bringing claims it's. Happened to do with accidents or or other activities. Yen the coastal waters and and the claims that it eliminates. Our our claims for economic. Damages. And so. And that's quite broad obviously an and so any any activity which is related to something that occurs in coastal waters. -- economic damages to parachutes. Would be the kind of claims that the parish is now. Are prohibited from bringing the the -- specifically. Is that local. Governments may not pursue. Claims for these kinds of damages and so you know just to. To understand what that might mean Jefferson Parish has. That a long list of claims against BP. Four loss of tax revenue related to the royals that did eventually reached coastal waters. It has claims for the cost has increased services to citizens claims for damages to its reputation in terms of business tourism and so -- All of those are economic planes related to activities. That reached. The coastal waters. And in this case it's you know probably. All the churches probably have claims about the billions of dollars against BP and all of those. Are put at risk which means that even yeah. You work on even if you think that after. A lot of hand wringing and argument before court even if you think that those claims might still survive there's there's more uncertainty surrounding. And and when you have more uncertainty around your client your ability to negotiate for settlements is it's much lower. And you're gonna have much more delay and so so the worst case scenario is that the claims are actually thrown out. The best case scenario is that the claims should be valued and the late which which means so you know could mean millions and billions of dollars. I think Rowland says in Europe a 106 thing legal scholars. Read this whole thing and agree -- that comeback. And then come. -- that happened yeah. Well thought out idea a couple of professor for twenty years than any -- you get a roomful opera presents to agree on anything making it. Oh. Essentially. I began by just talking with a few academics here Louisiana. Law professors lawyers about this. I'm not not implemented I mean the that the law professors scientists -- part right now we have now. Economic interest one or the other and that's -- we were looking at this. And it it just occurred to me that it was so poorly written that it would do that sort of things that I described. And and did then and I thought well I'll try to write up that sort. -- -- came -- -- the times Picayune and other opposite co authored with a couple of good mark from. First floor of the commitment yet because. And -- And and we started to think well maybe there are other people would agree with this and so I started calling up friends of mine that law school it and and using agency. And it would really quite think I mean there I think -- is -- era over a hundred. Law professors who signed a legal memo. And not guarantee that they've read every word and we bickered sometimes over what the wording -- -- but this -- but the memo that the -- we can do. Law proposes to agree to. And you know these are professors of law professors from -- you from Loyola from two -- from. Berkeley Yale win Michigan and Florida and Texas and and you name it so. Calm the concerns like that my point is is the concerns are real and and their significant enough that these folks during the summer vacation. Found time to to put some work to start very grateful for that and and I'm grateful for the attention -- brought. That's fascinating. A limited recoup -- come back Kolb won't checked by itself on the definition. Of retro active. Double a built big celebrity immoral fund three whip him. -- finger at about law recently passed -- or legislatures. Owned by the governor. That things that can Ole lawsuit filed by of these soltys who Israel Libby authority. Again it's 97 oil companies. Saying it's solidly as soon as used sign permit -- signed agreements and you've violated them when you destroyed the wetlands where you were working. And the governor and the legislature decided to belt words that that hole -- -- was illegal. But it couldn't go forward to the boulder law -- But it's it's heading back with -- again. And we have more than a broad aperture coups. The chair. The group treaty Morton normal. That your at Loyola university. Of professor. Among among members probably defective cars it is -- -- and I seem to remember during the legislative session. Claims that what they were trying to do intended to do. It would retro actively. Reverse all -- that was already on the books was that true. Well I think it what to claim was was it it would it would retroactively. Well it did obviously -- -- laws that the previously existed which is fine one of the things that the Libyan authorities claim. Is that this act retroactively. Extinguish is a infested. Claim that they already have now that that's lawyers speak for meaning that they've already brought a lawsuit. And the -- it's already being decided by a court. And and their point that is the authorities point is that there is a problem with the legislature. Essentially taking away. They claim that they've watched court beep beep beep beep. Situation would be well the judge is -- looking at this they already have a claim that it invested in some way. And therefore their constitutional problem they would say with with taking that away it at the very last minute. -- I'd mention this because. Did beat because at this as you say continues to war one between the court and just yesterday the Libyan authorities. -- brought a motion in federal court. Are asking the judge to find as a matter of law that this act does not apply to them. And one of the argument Spain may need was that this retro activity that you brought up. He is in fact unconstitutional. And more -- to find out whether the court agreed with. So I was who have wondered -- when I hear that I -- speeding ticket about five years ago could go Brooke Roy actively. Change the law that says seven miles for a. Well actually that that that that's a very good point and yeah I would to play with and you might remember you know for civics class wait wait back that the constitution in the US constitution prevents. Ex post facto law right making making -- illegal or legal later. But that applies only in criminal cases for the most part and so because these claims are not criminal clients. You can't. You know it's okay to retroactively. Changed things in in the abstract. What what -- BO OK it's two retroactively. Extinguish a lawsuit its salaried and broad band and when will have to see what the court. -- what via levees authority has has also made some other claims in court yesterday one that's. Rather interest in I mean they claim that this statute. In fact doesn't apply to them. Because that site if I noted earlier the act like that before uses the language debate local. Government entities -- -- a local government entity may now pursue a claim like that. And they'll let the authorities position is that in fact it is not a local. Government it is today a subdivision and the government and in analogue those were -- very particular. Meaning that well known to law makers and so their decision it's effect this statute actually doesn't apply it. One -- and see what happens with the. During interest you'll get about fifty seconds a long period time we look at that resolution. All my gosh it it could be it could be. Mom or or longer just depending on how the court wants to go with this -- and the reason that's important. From the authorities point view is that membership of the Libyan authorities. Is expected to change in the next few months -- cute couple we now. Professor I really appreciate your expertise in the time we have agreed to. Thank you very much. Professor Robert -- viewed the future that the blue tree Maarten in parliament launcher oil -- Robertson. Didn't come up with -- opinion poll but it which. And it's asking the questions to our program -- -- opinion and so. As is got jungle one of those things that make you go. Team. Six and -- percent of you say yes. -- -- -- -- to Angolan -- WW obligated celebrity idea mortal five to --

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