Manatee County Government Administrative Center First Floor, Commission Chambers 1:30 p.m. - July 22, 2015
July 22, 2015 - Special Meeting
Agenda Item #1

Settlement Offer - BP

Briefing Provided Upon Request

Contact and/or Presenter Information

Greg Wright, Ext. 3787, FMD Budget Division Manager

Rob Eschenfelder, Ext. 3746, Chief Assistant County Attorney



Action Requested
Adoption of Resolution R-15-118, BP Settlement Offer and ratifying County Administrator's prior signature of associated release.

Enabling/Regulating Authority

Court Confidentiality Order issued May 15, 2015, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana

Background Discussion

On February 7, 2012, the Board of County Commissioners engaged the law firm of Levin et al on a contingency basis to recover any economic losses suffered as a result of the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill that occurred in 2010.  The final claim amount (calculated by expert consultants for outside legal counsel) of $19,575,419 was previously submitted on January 15, 2013, and county approval was confirmed by the Board on January 29, 2013.

Notification from outside counsel received by staff during the Board’s current recess period conveyed a confidential settlement recommendation from a group of three court-appointed neutrals in a letter dated June 27, 2015. The detailed calculations of Manatee County’s recommended amount, while not disclosed by the court, were determined by an analysis of local revenue streams applied uniformly to local government entities, according to outside counsel. As per the agreement with the Board, outside counsel will receive a 20% attorney fee and costs (primarily accounting fees) that will be deducted from the court-recommended gross settlement amount of $1,442,091.  This amount is completely separate and distinct from any claim amounts that Manatee County is already or otherwise entitled to receive under the RESTORE Act that resolves all natural resource damages and civil penalty claims against BP. The Restore Act funds are reportedly being paid out in a future multi-year structured plan and should not be confused with the current immediate settlement in this agenda. For additional clarification, a Settlement Brief providing background and clarification of the funding issues involved has been prepared by staff and is attached to this Agenda package for general information.

After a review of all claim documentation, and the absence of any documented basis for further actual losses for Manatee County, and based on consultation with the County Attorney’s office as to the likelihood of protracted and costly litigation that would almost certainly follow any rejection of the pending settlement offer, the County Administrator has recommended approval and executed the attached final release document in support of Resolution R-15-118.

County Attorney Review
Other (Requires explanation in field below)

Explanation of Other
Rob Eschenfelder, Chief Assistant County Attorney

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records

Original documents to Rob Eschenfelder.

Copies to Financial Management Department, Attention: Greg Wright.

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name
0010000000-369000 General Fund

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs

Attachment:  Resolution R-15-118.22JUL2015.pdf
Attachment:  Special Meeting Back Up.22JUL2015.pdf