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(Huffington Post)   BP settles class-action lawsuit for more than $1 billion. Or about six days worth of profits   (huffingtonpost.com) divider line 45
    More: Interesting, Plaquemines Parish, gulf, ecological crisis, Thad Allen, pollution control, Pass Christian, Chandeleur Islands, North Shore  
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2510 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Jan 2013 at 3:45 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-10 11:57:51 AM
This just in... People don't understand why petroleum based products are suddenly more expensive.
 
2013-01-10 12:15:29 PM
The price of oil jumped today on the news of....
 
2013-01-10 03:49:36 PM
I wonder how quickly the House will pass a bill to cover this...
 
2013-01-10 03:49:40 PM
Rules are for the little people. BP, HSBC, AIG, and everybody from the Bush cabal should be evidence enough.
 
2013-01-10 03:55:57 PM
In others news, sales is 100% profit. BP has a raw material and operational cost of zero.
 
2013-01-10 03:56:58 PM
Once again, Joe Barton would like to apologize to BP.

(The web site has been taken over by Japanese squatters.)
 
2013-01-10 04:05:48 PM
Yea!! How much of this do I get???

/in WA State, had no known effect from oilspill...
 
2013-01-10 04:07:49 PM
Class action lawsits are bullshiat. Not to the lawyers of course. They walk away with lots of money.
But all these individuals entitled to a cut of this $1B in hopes that it would try to cover some of the damage, are going to end up with like $50.

Two examples of where I've seen this happen recently:
1. BoA settled a suit because they were sued for unfair fees and so on. I was in on that. I was expecting to get back at least a few hundred of what I had taken from me. When they settled, I got a check for $50. Thanks, assholes.

2. Redlight traffic cameras in a number of towns here in NJ were never legally calibrated, so every ticket they wrote was bogus. They were sued. Each ticket was worth between $85 and $145. Millions of them. In the end, everyone in the suit was entitled to a refund. Of $6.

In both cases, the lawyers walked away with millions and patted each other on the back for a case well won.
 
2013-01-10 04:10:00 PM
BP 2012 net income after taxes (actual profits): about $26 billion.

That's a billion every two weeks, subby, not six days.

Still... meh.
 
2013-01-10 04:19:41 PM
That's probably less than my Facebook campaign to not fill up at BP stations cost them.
 
2013-01-10 04:24:40 PM

durbnpoisn: Class action lawsits are bullshiat. Not to the lawyers of course. They walk away with lots of money.
But all these individuals entitled to a cut of this $1B in hopes that it would try to cover some of the damage, are going to end up with like $50.


QFT
 
2013-01-10 04:31:52 PM

SevenizGud: In others news, sales is 100% profit. BP has a raw material and operational cost of zero.


You really think BP's extraction costs are zero?

And subby really thinks BP makes a billion profit in less than a week?
 
2013-01-10 04:42:39 PM
need a law that says a human life is worth so much.
Like what do you pay out in a claim if someone is killed?
How much? What is the going rate for a human life? Like when that ninelelleven thing happened. We put a farking price on a human life.
Well, the dick goes both ways.
Cause x amount of damage and we take your CEO's life, and as many lives from teh top down until it's paid off, plus all of your corporation's money. You're closed and we kill some of your team.
That's how it's played.
Wnana play now, assholes?

Seriously that is how it should be.
 
2013-01-10 04:45:14 PM
beer4breakfast:
You really think BP's extraction costs are zero

I think your sarcasm detector ran out of gas.
 
2013-01-10 04:46:20 PM

beer4breakfast: You really think BP's extraction costs are zero?

And subby really thinks BP makes a billion profit in less than a week?


Slow down on that beer. SevenizGud was making your same point.
 
2013-01-10 04:47:28 PM

durbnpoisn: Class action lawsits are bullshiat. Not to the lawyers of course. They walk away with lots of money.
But all these individuals entitled to a cut of this $1B in hopes that it would try to cover some of the damage, are going to end up with like $50.

Two examples of where I've seen this happen recently:
1. BoA settled a suit because they were sued for unfair fees and so on. I was in on that. I was expecting to get back at least a few hundred of what I had taken from me. When they settled, I got a check for $50. Thanks, assholes.

2. Redlight traffic cameras in a number of towns here in NJ were never legally calibrated, so every ticket they wrote was bogus. They were sued. Each ticket was worth between $85 and $145. Millions of them. In the end, everyone in the suit was entitled to a refund. Of $6.

In both cases, the lawyers walked away with millions and patted each other on the back for a case well won.


As someone who recently cashed his settlement check of $3.47 from the Classmates.com class action settlement, I'm getting a kick out of this reply.
 
2013-01-10 04:50:30 PM

durbnpoisn: Class action lawsits are bullshiat. Not to the lawyers of course. They walk away with lots of money.
But all these individuals entitled to a cut of this $1B in hopes that it would try to cover some of the damage, are going to end up with like $50.

Two examples of where I've seen this happen recently:
1. BoA settled a suit because they were sued for unfair fees and so on. I was in on that. I was expecting to get back at least a few hundred of what I had taken from me. When they settled, I got a check for $50. Thanks, assholes.

2. Redlight traffic cameras in a number of towns here in NJ were never legally calibrated, so every ticket they wrote was bogus. They were sued. Each ticket was worth between $85 and $145. Millions of them. In the end, everyone in the suit was entitled to a refund. Of $6.

In both cases, the lawyers walked away with millions and patted each other on the back for a case well won.


The more I think about it Shakespere was right.
 
2013-01-10 04:57:16 PM

beer4breakfast: SevenizGud: In others news, sales is 100% profit. BP has a raw material and operational cost of zero.

You really think BP's extraction costs are zero?

And subby really thinks BP makes a billion profit in less than a week?


That was entertaining.
 
2013-01-10 04:58:44 PM

vudukungfu: need a law that says a human life is worth so much.
Like what do you pay out in a claim if someone is killed?
How much? What is the going rate for a human life? Like when that ninelelleven thing happened. We put a farking price on a human life.
Well, the dick goes both ways.
Cause x amount of damage and we take your CEO's life, and as many lives from teh top down until it's paid off, plus all of your corporation's money. You're closed and we kill some of your team.
That's how it's played.
Wnana play now, assholes?

Seriously that is how it should be.


No, we should use even more violent force. How much is virginity worth?
 
2013-01-10 05:02:24 PM
Gas prices will shortly soar.
 
2013-01-10 05:03:18 PM

durbnpoisn: Class action lawsits are bullshiat. Not to the lawyers of course. They walk away with lots of money.
But all these individuals entitled to a cut of this $1B in hopes that it would try to cover some of the damage, are going to end up with like $50.

Two examples of where I've seen this happen recently:
1. BoA settled a suit because they were sued for unfair fees and so on. I was in on that. I was expecting to get back at least a few hundred of what I had taken from me. When they settled, I got a check for $50. Thanks, assholes.

2. Redlight traffic cameras in a number of towns here in NJ were never legally calibrated, so every ticket they wrote was bogus. They were sued. Each ticket was worth between $85 and $145. Millions of them. In the end, everyone in the suit was entitled to a refund. Of $6.

In both cases, the lawyers walked away with millions and patted each other on the back for a case well won.


Citation needed. That can't be true.
 
2013-01-10 05:08:15 PM
FARK.com: where a billion dollars is chump change.
 
2013-01-10 05:15:38 PM

Millennium: FARK.com: where a billion dollars is chump change.


It is when it's about 1 days worth of revenue. It's like fining an individual with 50k in revenue 136 dollars.
 
2013-01-10 05:24:18 PM

Precision Boobery: durbnpoisn: Class action lawsits are bullshiat. Not to the lawyers of course. They walk away with lots of money.
But all these individuals entitled to a cut of this $1B in hopes that it would try to cover some of the damage, are going to end up with like $50.

Two examples of where I've seen this happen recently:
1. BoA settled a suit because they were sued for unfair fees and so on. I was in on that. I was expecting to get back at least a few hundred of what I had taken from me. When they settled, I got a check for $50. Thanks, assholes.

2. Redlight traffic cameras in a number of towns here in NJ were never legally calibrated, so every ticket they wrote was bogus. They were sued. Each ticket was worth between $85 and $145. Millions of them. In the end, everyone in the suit was entitled to a refund. Of $6.

In both cases, the lawyers walked away with millions and patted each other on the back for a case well won.

As someone who recently cashed his settlement check of $3.47 from the Classmates.com class action settlement, I'm getting a kick out of this reply.


I got a $50 Lowes gift card for chinese drywall, and a 28 dollar check for Clorox messing up my toilet.
 
2013-01-10 05:30:08 PM
Yes, the price at the pump will (in theory) go up 37 cents for a month, which is proof that we must never punish an oil company, because there is no more hideous fate imaginable than imagining that one oil company getting slapped with a fine for wrongdoing will make oil prices skyrocket and the economy will collapse and zombies will feast on the flesh of children and the living will envy the dead.

No matter what they do, without exception, we just smile and tell them, "Please be nice to us, oil companies.  See, we didn't sue you!"  Then the prices at the pump will surely go down.  Alternatively we could invade another oil-rich country, the other guaranteed technique.

This is in addition to the fact that BP will end up paying far less than $1B.  That number is for the headlines to get yahoos riled up and screaming about how gas prices will SKYROCKET and besides I HATES THEM LAWYERS, gittin' whatever they can git, this here is MURICA, where yer supposed to not just go grabbin' money with both fists lessen yer a JOB CREATER who done URNED IT.
 
2013-01-10 05:31:45 PM

MJMaloney187: durbnpoisn: Class action lawsits are bullshiat. Not to the lawyers of course. They walk away with lots of money.
But all these individuals entitled to a cut of this $1B in hopes that it would try to cover some of the damage, are going to end up with like $50.

Two examples of where I've seen this happen recently:
1. BoA settled a suit because they were sued for unfair fees and so on. I was in on that. I was expecting to get back at least a few hundred of what I had taken from me. When they settled, I got a check for $50. Thanks, assholes.

2. Redlight traffic cameras in a number of towns here in NJ were never legally calibrated, so every ticket they wrote was bogus. They were sued. Each ticket was worth between $85 and $145. Millions of them. In the end, everyone in the suit was entitled to a refund. Of $6.

In both cases, the lawyers walked away with millions and patted each other on the back for a case well won.

Citation needed. That can't be true.


What part of 33% Am I missing

I think that's how lawyers work
 
2013-01-10 05:31:49 PM
kind of off topic, but

I have a friend who is a huge RON PAUL guy. Invisible hand, so on and so forth. But he has one of those stickers in his place of business that has the BP emblem but instead of "BP" it has "BS." Seemed kind of hypocritical to me...

We, as an entire country, were completely outraged by the BP oil spill.(remember that? That lasted for MONTHS!) to the extent that people like my friend had these BP protest stickers on their cars, nobody was buying anything from BP, each and every one of us hated BP with a passion.

Boycotts, vitriol, outright hatred of a company by almost an entire nation.

Didn't hurt their bottom line by any real metric.

/I'm sad.
//Happiness at the bottom of a bottle, though. Cheers!!
 
2013-01-10 05:48:58 PM

Kibbler: Yes, the price at the pump will (in theory) go up 37 cents for a month


While admittedly gas is hard to do without, any of these "corporation will automatically pass on costs" theories has to pass the "will customers pay for it" test.
 
2013-01-10 05:50:14 PM

durbnpoisn: Class action lawsits are bullshiat. Not to the lawyers of course. They walk away with lots of money.
But all these individuals entitled to a cut of this $1B in hopes that it would try to cover some of the damage, are going to end up with like $50.

Two examples of where I've seen this happen recently:
1. BoA settled a suit because they were sued for unfair fees and so on. I was in on that. I was expecting to get back at least a few hundred of what I had taken from me. When they settled, I got a check for $50. Thanks, assholes.

2. Redlight traffic cameras in a number of towns here in NJ were never legally calibrated, so every ticket they wrote was bogus. They were sued. Each ticket was worth between $85 and $145. Millions of them. In the end, everyone in the suit was entitled to a refund. Of $6.

In both cases, the lawyers walked away with millions and patted each other on the back for a case well won.


My dad was in on that BoA lawsuit. He got a check for a dollar and some cents.Which is funny, because I don't remember him ever using BoA, but I don't think he's even going to bother cashing it.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-01-10 05:56:45 PM
What is the going rate for a human life?

There are a few ways to calculate the value of a life. They tend to come out around a few million dollars. Some federal agencies are supposed to consider this figure when doing cost-benefit analysis for regulations.

For example, some agencies use a figure around $90,000 per year for quality of life. The difference between healthy and dead is $90,000 per year, with degrees of infirmity and disability falling between. The average person has around 30 qyality-years of life left, so there's $3 million.

Earning capacity gives a similar answer. How much are you selling half your waking hours for? Likely within a factor of two of $50,000 per year.

Note that by either of these methods older people are worth less than younger people. Under the Bush administration some agency made the mistake of pointing out the obvious and angry old people started a letter writing campaign to ensure stupid regulations won over less stupid regulations.

Jury verdicts are highly variable based on factors unrelated to the value of a life, but a few million would not be a surprising amount for a wrongful death case involving a healthy young person.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-01-10 06:04:12 PM
While admittedly gas is hard to do without, any of these "corporation will automatically pass on costs" theories has to pass the "will customers pay for it" test.

In the short term fuel use doesn't depend strongly on price. If the industry raised prices by 20% gross revenue might go up 15% with a 5% drop in gallons purchased. In the long term you might see 5% increase in revenue with 15% drop in consumption. (People disagree what the elastiticty of demand for gasoline is; the figures I gave are in the range and seem plausible to me.)

If just one company raised prices 20%, that would cause a significant number of people to buy elsewhere. I have seen contradictory figures and don't know which to believe.
 
2013-01-10 06:09:20 PM
TinyFist:
Boycotts, vitriol, outright hatred of a company by almost an entire nation.

Didn't hurt their bottom line by any real metric.


...except for about a $10 billion hit in pretax income in 2010 and $8 billion in 2011? BP went from about $41 billion before taxes in 2009 to about $31 billion in 2010, then $33 billion in 2011. They're going to do better this year, but BP is still paying quite a large price for the Deepwater Horizon screwup.
 
2013-01-10 06:16:38 PM

durbnpoisn: Class action lawsits are bullshiat. Not to the lawyers of course. They walk away with lots of money.
But all these individuals entitled to a cut of this $1B in hopes that it would try to cover some of the damage, are going to end up with like $50.


The purpose of a class action lawsuit is not to net individual victims a big payout, it's to pursue penalties against a business that is effectively immune to being sued by an individual victim. If you tried to sue a business the size of BP just how far do you think you would get before running out of time and money for legal fees?
 
2013-01-10 07:13:19 PM
As an attorney in a firm that does a lot of mass tort actions, I am getting a kick out of these replies.
 
2013-01-10 07:31:20 PM

cirby: TinyFist:
Boycotts, vitriol, outright hatred of a company by almost an entire nation.

Didn't hurt their bottom line by any real metric.

...except for about a $10 billion hit in pretax income in 2010 and $8 billion in 2011? BP went from about $41 billion before taxes in 2009 to about $31 billion in 2010, then $33 billion in 2011. They're going to do better this year, but BP is still paying quite a large price for the Deepwater Horizon screwup.


I'll not challenge any of your figures or argue that their after tax profits obviously missed their goals during that time. I'll concede that their bottom line was, in fact, dented in a measurable way.

Are they still making billions of dollars each quarter? Yep. And could we, as an entire nation of people outraged at their outright ineptitude and greed do anything, any ONE thing to discourage their behavior, let alone shut them down completely, as the "invisible hand of the free market" (intention of my Boobies) is supposed to handle?

No. We, as an entire nation, are wholly owned and sold like a common commodity.

/Still Sad
//Little drunker now, though. Cheers, Farkers!
 
2013-01-10 07:35:52 PM
I just got "Boobies" for the first time. Huh.

/new to these parts
//longtime lurker
 
2013-01-10 07:40:09 PM
Meanwhile, Halliburton are pissing their pants with laughter...

/Evil, demonic laughter
 
2013-01-10 07:52:58 PM
What, no one covered this yet?

25.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-01-10 08:40:42 PM

generallyso: durbnpoisn: Class action lawsits are bullshiat. Not to the lawyers of course. They walk away with lots of money.
But all these individuals entitled to a cut of this $1B in hopes that it would try to cover some of the damage, are going to end up with like $50.

The purpose of a class action lawsuit is not to net individual victims a big payout, it's to pursue penalties against a business that is effectively immune to being sued by an individual victim. If you tried to sue a business the size of BP just how far do you think you would get before running out of time and money for legal fees?


Not to mention that if you think you're owed more than the $50 you'd get in a class action, you can opt out and sue on your own.
 
2013-01-10 09:38:51 PM
Revenues are not profits - this is actually a pretty big hit when added to everything else BP has paid out. The company has lost YEARS worth of profits.

I know most people haven't studied accounting, but revenues and profits are vastly different... typically by 95 to 98 percent.

Look, the case for environmentalism doesn't need to be bolstered by lying or distorting the truth. It undermines the case.
 
2013-01-10 09:49:16 PM
TinyFist:
Are they still making billions of dollars each quarter? Yep.

...because they're a company worth about a third of a TRILLION dollars.

Considering how big they are, they're not making much at all. Pretty proportional to their size, if not a bit low overall.

Yep. And could we, as an entire nation of people outraged at their outright ineptitude and greed do anything, any ONE thing to discourage their behavior, let alone shut them down completely, as the "invisible hand of the free market" (intention of my Boobies) is supposed to handle?

You have to remember that, despite some claims, we're not "an entire nation of people outraged." We were mostly somewhat pissed off at best. For about a week. The few who were "outraged" probably start off with "outraged" in any case. They get outraged at the entire IDEA of an oil company when they wake up in the morning.

Stop falling into the Fark "Outrage" silliness. People use it to describe pretty much any emotion that falls on the far side of "okay with it" in headlines because they think it's clever or something.

The "invisible hand of the free market" worked against BP. It cost the company a lot of money in the real world - the equivalent of more than a year's actual profit. Considering the comparative size of the disaster, that's pretty fair.

Yes, it was a big disaster on human terms, but BP is an ENORMOUS corporation on that same scale. Calling for the equivalent of a "corporate death penalty" in this case would be incredibly out of proportion. If you don't want companies the size of BP to exist, then get governments out of the business of business. UltraSuperMegaCorps pretty much don't exist without someone, somewhere, in some government making them exist, or protecting them so they do. Governments like big companies - it's easier to deal with one megacorp than a thousand mom and pop companies...
You also can't blame BP 100% for this. Part of the restrictions on oil drilling off the coast include fees they paid in - for years - to have the US government supply oil spill response ships. Which were either not in place, or completely inadequate for the size of disaster that was expected. If the government had kept their part of the bargain, the Deepwater Horizon spill would have been much, much smaller.
 
2013-01-11 05:08:21 AM

SevenizGud: In others news, sales is 100% profit. BP has a raw material and operational cost of zero.


Yeah, those poor billionaires have to make money SOMEHOW! I mean, will someone think of the billionaires?!
 
2013-01-11 05:15:55 AM
To everyone saying that class action lawsuits are pointless: you're right, especially if you're on the receiving side. I think the point is more to punish the company so that they don't let stuff like this happen again, and less about the $3.67 check you'll receive.
 
2013-01-11 09:01:33 AM

Wangiss: How much is virginity worth?


Lemme check on E-Bay
 
2013-01-11 12:24:31 PM
Copypasta time!

Class actions are a specialized form of suit wherein the state has decided to allow private parties to act as bounty hunters (ok the more snazzy term is private attorneys general) so that the cost of enforcing a law is borne by those who broke it.  They are not really about compensation, they are about punishing wrongful acts.

To break this down for you:  Company C acts wrongfully, but does it in such small amounts that each consumer is only harmed to the tune of $50.  Let us assume there are 1 million such consumers, but this 1 mil is a small percentage of the total country.

In order to stop C from continuing to fark these consumers over, we have 3.5 options:

a) individual lawsuits.  This is the oldest of the options, and is what the common law would provide.  The problem here is that it is too expensive to sue over such a small individual injury.  Ignore lawyers, the filing fees for such a case are likely 5-10 times the potential recovery amount.  Thus this is not really an option to stop C's bad acts.

b) government enforcement.  This works far better than individual lawsuits because the government can aggregate all the injuries together. This is much more efficient.  However, it is likely to be expensive, and the costs of investigation and enforcement are to be borne by taxpayers.  Note how we already noted that the injured parties are a small fraction of the electorate.  Thus, under this system, to prevent wrongdoing, we need a larger governmental apparatus to investigate and pursue potential bad acts.  If the state wins, the judgment may be enough to offset these costs, but that is often not the case.

c) Class Actions.  Here we get the benefits of aggregation, but, unlike in government enforcement, the costs of investigation and suit are borne by the liable party.  See, if the lawyers investigate and realize there is nothing to pursue, they have to eat that cost.  Furthermore, if they sue and win, because the liable party pay's their fees, its as if that liable party is paying for its own punishment.  It is a cheap and easy way to defer the general costs of certain enforcement actions by basically privatizing them.

(the .5 would be small claims court - which can be a solid viable answer if you feel like burning a bunch of time.  Alas, once again if your time is worth more than the injury - it is just a) all over again)

Thus, regarding the constant and consistent biatchery in these threads over the small recovery by regular folks: 1) it was never about making them whole anyway and 2) its basically free money - in that those that recovered anything did not have to do anything to get it.  I have however learned not to be surprised by homo sapiens and their ability to get mad about getting something for free merely because someone else got more (which is especially egregious here as the attorney's fees that underlie such grousing is for the actual work the lawyers did -  its not free money at all!).
 
 
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