The latest appeal about BP’s class settlement of Deepwater Horizon claims — a long and winding path — involved the rights of claimants to appeal a benefit decision to the Fifth Circuit, after review in the district court. While the Court’s ultimate holdings turn on the specific parts of the settlement at issue, on the threshold issue of the claimants’ appeal right, the Court held: “We choose to follow these other circuits’ decisions in similar cases involving consent decrees to hold that, where a settlement agreement does not resolve claims itself but instead establishes a mechanism pursuant to which the district court will resolve claims, parties must expressly waive what is otherwise a right to appeal from claim determination decisions by a district court. Given that there has been no such express waiver in the instant case, the parties have preserved their right to appeal from the district court to this court.” Lake Eugenie Land & Development v. BP Exploration & Production, No. 13-30843 (May 8, 2015).
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