The Fifth Circuit has now resolved the challenges to BP’s Deepwater Horizon settlement, as follows:
1. In October 2013, in three separate opinions, First Panel remanded for more fact findings as to accounting issues about the settlement.
2. In January 2014, in a 2-1 decision, Second Panel affirmed the settlement over challenges based on Rule 23 and related standing issues.
3. In March 2014, satisfied with the results of the remand, First Panel affirmed the mechanics of the settlement in a 2-1 decision.
4. On May 19, 2014:
A. First Panel denies panel rehearing, concluding in a 2-1 opinion: “In settling this lawsuit, the parties agreed on a substitute for direct proof of causation by a preponderance of the evidence. By settling this lawsuit and agreeing to the evidentiary framework for submitting claims, the claimants did not abandon their allegations of Article III causation.”
B. Second Panel also denies panel rehearing, also in a 2-1 opinion, noting its “complete agreement” with the denial of panel rehearing by First Panel.