Halliburton Energy Services, Inc./Transocean Punitive Damages & Assigned Claims Settlements

Frequently Asked Questions

Helpful Hint: Using the general subject of your question may provide the best search results. For example, enter the word "hearing" in the search box to find information about the Settlement's Fairness Hearing.

1. Why is this Notice being provided?

You have a right to know about proposed Settlements of these class action lawsuits and your options relating to the proposed Settlements. The Notice explains the lawsuits, the HESI and Transocean Settlements, your legal rights, what benefits are available, who may be eligible for those benefits, and how to get them.

Judge Carl J. Barbier of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana is overseeing this class action. The case is known as In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, MDL No. 2179. The people who started the lawsuit are called “Plaintiffs,” and HESI and Transocean, the companies being sued, are called the “Defendants.”

(collapse all)

2. What are the lawsuits about?

The lawsuits involve certain claims arising out of the “Deepwater Horizon Incident” in the Gulf of Mexico beginning on April 20, 2010.

The first phase of the trial focused on identifying the causes of the blowout, explosion, and subsequent oil spill. The Court determined, based on the evidence, that Halliburton and Transocean did not commit gross negligence, reckless, wanton, or willful misconduct, and are therefore not responsible for punitive damages. There have been no appeals of these findings.

HESI and Transocean have agreed to these Settlements to avoid the risks and costs of litigation. Given the Court’s findings, these Settlements are the only way to recover punitive damages under these lawsuits.

(collapse all)

3. What is the Deepwater Horizon Incident?

The “Deepwater Horizon Incident” refers to the events, actions, inactions, and omissions leading up to and including:

  • The blowout of the MC252 Well (also known as the “Macondo Well”) on April 20, 2010;
  • The design, planning, preparation, or drilling of the MC252 Well;
  • The explosions and fire on board the Deepwater Horizon oil rig;
  • The sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig on April 22, 2010;
  • The efforts to control the MC252 Well;
  • The release of oil and other substances from the MC252 Well and/or the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and its appurtenances (equipment);
  • The efforts to contain the MC252 Well;
  • All “Response Activities,” including the “Vessels of Opportunity” (“VoO”) program;
  • Any damages to the MC252 Well and any reservoir, aquifer, geological formation, or underground strata related to the above; and
  • All other responsive actions taken in connection with the blowout of the MC252 Well.

(collapse all)

4. What is physically oiled?

In order to make a claim for punitive damages under general maritime law, an individual or entity must generally show that property it owned was directly affected, impacted, or damaged by the oil. There is a “commercial fishing” exception, which also generally allows commercial fishermen to make a claim for punitive damages, even though they do not “own” the fish that were directly impacted or damaged.

(collapse all)

5. What groups were excluded from the DHEPDS but are included in the New Class?

The groups that were previously excluded from the DHEPDS include: local governments, gaming, finance, insurance, real estate development, defense industries, and oil and gas entities. These groups are included in the New Class.

(collapse all)

6. Why is this a class action?

In a class action, one or more “Class Representatives” sue on behalf of all those with the same types of claims arising from the same events. One court resolves the issues for all class members. Here, the Class Representatives are suing to obtain payments for a class of individuals, businesses, and other entities, including local governments, with specific types of claims arising from the Deepwater Horizon Incident.

(collapse all)

7. Are the HESI/Transocean Settlements part of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF)?

No. A new Settlement Program has been established under the HESI and Transocean Settlements. By the agreement of the parties, the new program operates according to specific, agreed-upon rules and is under the supervision of the Court. If you had a claim paid by the GCCF, and you did not sign a release, you may still be eligible to receive a payment under the HESI/Transocean Settlements.

(collapse all)

8. Are the HESI/Transocean Settlements part of the DHEPDS?

The HESI/Transocean Settlements are separate from the DHEPDS. However, you should note the following:

  • As part of the DHEPDS, BP assigned certain claims it had against HESI/Transocean to the DHEPDS class. HESI/Transocean have agreed to settle those assigned claims and pay DHEPDS class members.
  • If you filed a valid claim in the DHEPDS and are included in the HESI/Transocean Class, your previous claim will be transferred to the administrator. DO NOT FILE A NEW CLAIM.
  • If you had a claim rejected under the DHEPDS, it may affect your eligibility or right to receive a payment under these Settlements in the following ways:
    • If your DHEPDS claim was rejected because you or the claim were excluded from (or Opted Out of) the DHEPDS class, you may be eligible for benefits from the HESI/Transocean Settlements.
    • If your DHEPDS claim was denied for some other reason, (e.g., no causation, fraud, waste and abuse (“FWA”), or prior GCCF Release), you cannot get a payment from the HESI/Transocean Settlements.
  • If you were eligible to make a claim in the DHEPDS, but chose not to, you cannot get a payment from the HESI/Transocean Settlements.
  • If you are a New Class member but were unable to file a claim in the DHEPDS because you had no claim that fell into any of the DHEPDS Damage Categories, you may be eligible to file a HESI/Transocean claim. Please refer to Question 11 and Question 17 of the Notice or the Eligibility Chart for additional details.

(collapse all)

9. What if my DHEPDS claim is still pending or unresolved?

The DHEPDS Program is working on these claims – and all DHEPDS claims – under the rules of the DHEPDS. If additional information is needed to process your claim, you will be contacted. If you have a specific question about the status of a DHEPDS claim, you can call the DHEPDS Administrator at 1-800-353-1262 for assistance.

(collapse all)

10. What if I received a GCCF final payment and signed a release?

If you made a claim to the GCCF, received payment from the GCCF and signed a document called, “Release and Covenant Not to Sue,” you are not eligible to receive money from the HESI and Transocean Settlements. However, you may still be eligible for a payment from the HESI/Transocean Settlements if your GCCF claim and the “Release and Covenant Not to Sue” related only to a bodily injury claim.

(collapse all)

11. Who is in the New Class?

The New Class includes individuals, businesses, local governments, and other entities that had Real or Personal Property, anytime between April 20, 2010, through April 18, 2012, that was touched or physically damaged by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This includes some new groups: local government, gaming, finance, insurance, real estate development, defense industries, and oil and gas entities.

The New Class also includes:

Commercial Fishermen (including menhaden/pogy fishermen) or Charterboat Operators who, at any time between April 20, 2009, through April 18, 2012:

  • Owned, chartered, leased, rented, managed, operated, utilized, or held any proprietary interest in commercial fishing or charter fishing that were Home Ported in or that landed Seafood in the Gulf Coast Areas, OR
  • Worked on or shared an interest in catch from Vessels that fished Specified Gulf Waters and landed Seafood in the Gulf Coast Area.

Subsistence hunters and fishers who, at any time between April 20, 2009, through April 18, 2012:

  • Fished or hunted in the Identified Gulf Waters or Gulf Coast Areas to harvest, catch, barter, consume, or trade natural resources, including Seafood and game, in a traditional or customary manner, to sustain basic family dietary, economic security, shelter, tool, or clothing needs.

See the Eligibility Chart of the Notice for more details on who is included in the New Class. The complete text of the New Class definitions is in Section 4 of the HESI and Transocean Settlement Agreements. The following definitions below will help you determine if you are a member of the New Class.

  • “Charterboat Operators” means owners, captains, and deckhands of charter fishing vessels that carry passengers(s) for hire to engage in recreational fishing.
  • “Commercial Fisherman” means any person or entity that gets income from catching and selling Seafood. This includes Vessel owners, boat captains, boat crew, boat hands, and others who are paid based on the quantity of Seafood lawfully caught while holding a commercial fishing license issued by the United States and/or the State(s) of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and/or Texas, or otherwise engaged in lawful commercial fishing.
  • “Gulf Coast Areas” include the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama; the counties of Chambers, Galveston, Jefferson, and Orange in the State of Texas; and the counties of Bay, Calhoun, Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, Dixie, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hernando, Hillsborough, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lee, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Manatee, Monroe, Okaloosa, Pasco, Pinellas, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, Taylor, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington in the State of Florida. “Gulf Coast Areas” also includes all adjacent Gulf waters, bays, estuaries, straits, and other tidal or brackish waters within the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, and those described counties of Texas or Florida.
  • “Entity” means an organization, business, local government, or entity, other than a Governmental Organization, operating or having operated for-profit or not-for-profit, including a partnership, corporation, limited liability company, association, joint stock company, trust, joint venture, or unincorporated association of any kind or description.
  • “Identified Gulf Waters” means the U.S. and state territorial waters of the Gulf of Mexico and all adjacent bays, estuaries, straits, and other tidal or brackish waters within the territory of the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama and the Texas and Florida counties listed in the definition of Gulf Coast Areas.
  • “Local Government” means a county, parish, municipality, city, town, or village (including a Local Government’s agency, branch, commission, department, unit, district, or board).
  • “Personal Property” means any form of tangible property that is not Real Property, including Vessels.
  • “Real Property” means all real property adjacent to Identified Gulf Waters, including property below the surface of the water, Oyster Beds, and deeded docks.
  • “Seafood” means fish and shellfish, including shrimp, oysters, crab, menhaden, and Finfish, caught in the Specified Gulf Waters or Identified Gulf Waters.
  • “Specified Gulf Waters” means the U.S. waters of the Gulf of Mexico where residents of Gulf Coast Areas are allowed to lawfully fish, and all adjacent bays, estuaries, straits, and other tidal or brackish waters within the Gulf Coast Areas.

(collapse all)

12. Are there exceptions to being included in the New Class?

Yes. The following individuals and entities are excluded from the New Class:

  • Anyone who excludes themselves from (or “Opts Out” of) the New Class;
  • Defendants in MDL 2179 and certain current and former employees of HESI and Transocean;
  • The Court, including any sitting judges on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, their law clerks serving during the pendency of this lawsuit, and members of any such judge’s or current law clerk’s immediate family;
  • Governmental Organizations (outside of included local governments);
  • BP Released Parties and certain individuals who were employees of BP; and
  • Individuals and Entities that received a payment from the GCCF and signed a “Release and Covenant Not To Sue.” See Question 10.

The following claims are also not included in the HESI and Transocean Settlements:

  • Bodily Injury Claims
  • BP Shareholder Claims

You may still pursue these claims and remain a New Class Member without Opting Out.

The full description of the entities, individuals, and claims that are excluded from the New Class can be found here.

(collapse all)

13. Do the HESI and Transocean Settlements cover claims for economic loss, medical, or personal injury?

No. The HESI and Transocean Settlements do not include claims for economic loss, medical, or personal injury.

(collapse all)

14. What if I’m still not sure whether I am included in the New Class?

If you are not sure whether you are in the New Class, or have any other questions about the HESI and Transocean Settlements, you may write with questions to HESI/Transocean Punitive Damages & Assigned Claims Settlements, PO Box 10260, Dublin, OH 43017-5760 or send an e-mail to questions@GulfSpillPunitiveDamagesSettlement.com.

(collapse all)

15. Who is in the Old Class?

The Old Class includes all claimants that received a DHEPDS initial payment. Payments to Old Class members will be distributed on a pro rata basis to DHEPDS Class members based on the amount paid to each claimant by the DHEPDS. In addition, payments made pursuant to settlement with the Court-appointed Neutrals are considered paid by the DHEPDS program for purposes of the Old Class distribution, provided that the payment was related to a claim that had not been fully and finally determined by the DHEPDS Settlement Program and thus remained subject to the DHEPDS claims process. Parties that were excluded from the DHEPDS Class, opted out of the DHEPDS Class, or failed to file a DHEPDS claim who otherwise could have will not be eligible for a payment from the Old Class in addition to those whose claims under the DHEPDS were all denied.

(collapse all)

16. What do the HESI/Transocean Settlements provide?

HESI will contribute $1,030,136,667.00, and Transocean will contribute $211,750,000 to fund the HESI/Transocean Settlements. The majority of the Fund ($903,638,743.58) will be used to pay New Class Members. The remainder of the Fund ($338,247,923.42) has been allocated to the Assigned Claims for the benefit of the existing DHEPDS Class. The allocation was performed by United States Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Wilkinson, Jr., who was appointed to serve as the Allocation Neutral under the terms of the Settlement Agreements. The cost to provide notice and administer the HESI/Transocean Settlements will be paid out of the Fund. In addition to the Fund, HESI and Transocean have also agreed to pay attorneys’ fees and expenses. On February 15, 2017, the Court entered the Final Order and Judgment Granting Approval of HESI and Transocean Punitive Damages and Assigned Claims Settlement Agreements as well as the Order and Reasons approving the HESI and Transocean settlements and the proposed Old and New Class Distribution Models.

(collapse all)

17. How much will payment be?

The proposed Distribution Model was filed with the Court on June 13, 2016, and is available on this website or by clicking here. The proposed Distribution Model was approved by the Court on February 15, 2017.

(collapse all)

18. Who has to submit a Claim Form to request payment?

There is only one group that needs to file a claim. If you are a New Class Member and were not eligible to file a claim in the DHEPDS or elected to Opt Out of that Settlement, you will need to file a claim to request a payment from the HESI/Transocean Settlements. If you are a member of the earlier DHEPDS Class with BP, you cannot file a new claim. The Settlement Administrator will use the information from your DHEPDS claim for the purposes of determining your eligibility for a payment from the HESI/Transocean Settlements. For further guidance regarding whether you need to file a claim, please see the “Should I File a Claim?” chart.

(collapse all)

19. Can I submit a claim if I voluntarily decided not to file a claim in the DHEPDS?

No, unless you were deemed a valid Opt Out party for the DHEPDS. Because you failed to file a claim to recover economic loss from the DHEPDS, you gave up your right to recover compensatory damages by virtue of the DHEPDS class-wide release. As a result, you have no right to recover punitive damages in this settlement program.

(collapse all)

20. Should I submit a claim if I have a claim pending in DHEPDS?

No. The claim you filed in the DHEPDS will be transferred to the HESI/Transocean administrator.

(collapse all)

21. Should I submit a claim if my claim was paid in the DHEPDS?

No. The claim you filed in the DHEPDS will be transferred to the HESI/Transocean administrator.

(collapse all)

22. Should I submit a claim if my claim was denied in the DHEPDS?

No. If your DHEPDS claim was rejected for a reason other than the fact that you were excluded from (or opted out of) the DHEPDS class, (e.g. no causation, FWA denial, prior GCCF Release), you cannot get a payment from the HESI/Transocean Settlements because your claims for compensatory damages (upon which a punitive damage award would be premised) have been released. Compensatory damages compensate for actual losses and punitive damages cannot be awarded unless compensatory damages can be established.

(collapse all)

23. Should I submit a claim if I previously Opted Out of the DHEPDS?

Yes, if you validly Opted Out of the DHEPDS Class and are included in the New Class, you may submit a claim.

(collapse all)

24. How do I submit a Claim Form to request payment?

Per the terms of the settlement agreements, the deadline to file a claim was December 15, 2016. All claims postmarked December 16, 2016 or later will be rejected as late.

(collapse all)

25. Do I need to submit supporting documentation?

Yes. If you are a New Class Member who needs to submit a claim to be considered for payment as explained above, you will need to include certain supporting documents for your claim to be accepted. The Claim Form will be available when the Distribution Model is submitted to the Court for approval and will be posted on this website or you may request a Claim Form by mail.

(collapse all)

26. What if my claim is denied or I am not satisfied with my payment?

The HESI/Transocean Settlements provide a process to resolve disagreements about how much money you should get. You will get further details in the letter you receive after your claim has been processed. If your claim is denied, or if you are not satisfied with the amount of your payment, you may file an appeal. The Court’s decision on any appeal involving the amount of payment will be final and binding, and you cannot appeal to any other court, including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The appeal form will be provided with your final determination letter and further explanation of the appeals process is available on this website.

(collapse all)

27. When will I get my payment?

All claims will be paid after all determinations are complete and the Court has approved final distribution. New Class claims submitted by the December 15, 2016 deadline will receive determination letters on a rolling basis. For claims whose value will be calculated based on existing DHEPDS data, determinations will be issued 4-6 months after completion of relevant DHEPDS determinations. There will be no opportunity for advance/interim payments.

(collapse all)

28. What am I giving up to get a payment?

If you accept a payment in the HESI and Transocean Settlements, you will give up your right to sue the Defendants or the Released Parties (identified in Section 10 of the Settlement Agreements) regarding all of the claims resolved by the HESI and Transocean Settlements, as described more fully in Section 10 of the Settlement Agreements.

However, you will NOT give up your right to sue HESI or Transocean or any of the Released Parties for any other claims (that is, any claims that were not resolved by these Settlements).

The Settlement Agreements are available here. The Settlement Agreements describe the released claims with specific descriptions in legal terminology, so read it carefully. If you have any questions about the released claims and what they mean, you can talk to the lawyers representing the New Class, listed in Question 40 below, for free, or you can, at your own expense, talk to your own lawyer.

(collapse all)

29. When will I get my determination letter?

New Class claims submitted by the December 15, 2016 deadline will receive determination letters on a rolling basis. For claims whose value will be calculated based on existing DHEPDS data, determinations will be issued 4-6 months after completion of DHEPDS determinations. The earliest anticipated date for DHEPDS to complete processing all claims is Summer 2018, but if the Old Class Claims Administrator determines it is in the best interest of the Class, he may opt to complete an initial distribution in Spring 2018 with a reserve set aside for undetermined claims which would then distribute in late 2018. Please continue to check the website periodically for updates, or you may call our Toll Free number at your convenience.

(collapse all)

30. Do I need to sign the claim form personally?

If anyone other than the claimant or the legal representative of a deceased, minor, or incompetent claimant signs the claim form, or if the claim form is submitted not signed at all, the claim form will be deemed deficient.

(collapse all)

31. Should I submit a claim form for each parcel being claimed?

Only one completed New Class claim form is required per claimant. For each parcel you wish to claim, please provide the information requested, attaching additional sheets if necessary. If attaching additional sheets, please reference “See Attached List” on the claim form itself. For supporting documentation on a multi-parcel claim, please place the associated Parcel Identification Number on each document if it is not already present.

(collapse all)

32. Does the signature on a Claim Form need to be original?

A Claim Form must have a manually handwritten signature by the claimant. Either the original or an identical copy of the signed Claim Form must be submitted to the Claims Administrator. PDF, stamped, or typed "signatures" affixed to a Claim Form will be deemed deficient.

(collapse all)

33. If a parcel has multiple owners, is each owner required to file a separate Claim Form?

When a parcel is owned jointly by a married couple and the joint ownership is reflected on the deed (e.g. tenants by the entirety, joint with rights of survivorship as marital property, etc.), one claim under the Social Security number of either of the married, joint owners will be adequate to make a claim for 100% ownership of the marital unit.

If the parcel is owned by two or more parties that are not currently married to one another, or if the deed does not reflect joint ownership (e.g. the deed reflects ownership as tenants in common or does not list anything except the owners names), each owner must file individual claims for their shares unless the property is operated as a business and the title is held under that business name. Each claim, whether filed jointly or individually, should include the names of all co-owners.

(collapse all)

34. If I do not want to participate in the HESI/Transocean Settlements, what must I do?

To exclude yourself or your Entity from (or Opt Out of) the New Class, you must have mailed a written request stating, “I wish to be excluded from the HESI/Transocean Class.” Your written request must also have included your printed name, address, and phone number, and must have been signed by you. Your written request must have been mailed and postmarked by September 23, 2016.

If you chose to Opt Out of the New Class, you must have Opted Out for all claims you have that are included in the HESI/Transocean Settlements.

You did not have to Opt Out of the HESI and Transocean Settlements in order to preserve or pursue these Reserved Claims:

  • Bodily Injury Claims
  • BP Shareholder Claims
  • Moratoria Loss Claims

(collapse all)

35. If I exclude myself, can I get anything from the HESI/Transocean Settlements?

No. If you excluded yourself from the HESI/Transocean Settlements, you will not be able to receive any payment under the HESI/Transocean Settlements, and you cannot object to the HESI/Transocean Settlements. If you excluded yourself, however, you may sue or be part of a different lawsuit against HESI and Transocean in the future. However, considering the Court’s findings, you may be precluded from making a claim for punitive damages outside of these Settlements.

(collapse all)

36. If I do not exclude myself, can I sue HESI and Transocean later?

No. If you are a New Class Member and you did not exclude yourself, you gave up the right to sue HESI and Transocean or any of the Released Parties for the claims that these Settlements resolve. You can still pursue the following Reserved Claims:

  • Bodily Injury Claims
  • BP Shareholder Claims
  • Moratoria Loss Claims

(collapse all)

37. If I exclude myself from the HESI/Transocean Settlements, can I change my mind later?

Yes. You had the right to request to withdraw (“revoke”) your decision to Opt Out of the HESI and Transocean Settlements as long as you did it by November 7, 2016.

To have excluded yourself or your Entity from (or Opted Out of) the New Class, you must have mailed a written request stating, “I wish to be excluded from the HESI/Transocean Class.” Your written request must also have included your printed name, address, and phone number, and must have been signed by you. Your written request must have been mailed and postmarked by September 23, 2016.

If you chose to Opt Out of the New Class, you must have Opted Out for all claims you have that are included in the HESI/Transocean Settlements.

You did not have to Opt Out of the HESI and Transocean Settlements in order to preserve or pursue these Reserved Claims:

  • Bodily Injury Claims
  • BP Shareholder Claims
  • Moratoria Loss Claims

(collapse all)

38. How do I tell the Court if I do not like the HESI/Transocean Settlements?

If you are a Class Member, you could have objected to the HESI and Transocean Settlements if you did not like all or some part of them. To object, you must have sent a letter explaining your objection to the proposed HESI/Transocean Settlement. Objections must have been sent by first class mail, postmarked no later than September 23, 2016. Objections submitted after this date will not be considered.

(collapse all)

39. What is the difference between objecting to and asking to be excluded from the HESI/Transocean Settlements?

Objecting is simply telling the Court that you do not like something about the HESI/Transocean Settlements. You can object only if you stay in the New Class. Excluding yourself, also called Opting Out, is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the New Class. If you exclude yourself, you cannot object to the HESI/Transocean Settlements, and you will not be eligible to apply for a payment under the Settlements.

(collapse all)

40. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

The Court has appointed Stephen J. Herman (Lead Class Counsel), James P. Roy (Lead Class Counsel), Brian H. Barr, Jeffery A. Breit, Elizabeth J. Cabraser, Philip F. Cossich, Jr., Robert T. Cunningham, Alphonso Michael Espy, Calvin C. Fayard, Jr., Ervin A. Gonzalez, Robin L. Greenwald, Rhon E. Jones, Matthew E. Lundy, Michael C. Palmintier, Joseph F. Rice, Paul M. Sterbcow, Scott Summy, and Conrad S. P. Williams as “New Class Counsel” to represent the New Class Members. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer in this case, you may hire one at your own expense.

(collapse all)

41. How will the lawyers be paid?

New Class Counsel will ask the Court to consider an award of attorneys’ fees and costs and expenses incurred for the benefit of the entire Class. Class Counsel fees, costs, and expenses under the HESI and Transocean Settlement Agreement jointly cannot exceed $124,950,000.

(collapse all)

42. Is there a cap on fees for attorneys working on a contingency fee basis?

At the Fairness Hearing held on November 10, 2016, Judge Barbier indicated that he would be instituting a 25% cap on the fees that attorneys representing Class Members can collect from any single claimant under the HESI/Transocean Settlements. This cap on attorneys’ fees is consistent with the 25% cap on fees in the DHEPDS Program.

An order has not yet been entered in this case regarding the 25% cap on contingency fees for counsel representing HESI/Transocean Class Members. Once the order has been made available, it will be posted to this settlement website.

(collapse all)

43. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve these Settlements?

The Fairness Hearing occurred as scheduled on November 10, 2016 before Judge Carl Barbier. Short presentations regarding the settlement were made by the Parties and the New Class Claims Administrator, Michael Juneau, made a short presentation regarding the New Class claims process and a short discussion of the Old Class distribution process on behalf of Patrick Juneau. On February 15, 2017, the Court entered the Final Order and Judgment Granting Approval of HESI and Transocean Punitive Damages and Assigned Claims Settlement Agreements as well as the Order and Reasons approving the HESI and Transocean settlements and the proposed Old and New Class Distribution Models.

(collapse all)

44. Do I have to attend the Fairness Hearing?

The Fairness Hearing occurred as scheduled on November 10, 2016 before Judge Carl Barbier.

(collapse all)

45. What happens if I do nothing?

The consequences of doing nothing depends on which group you fall into:

  • New Class Members who do not exclude themselves from the Halliburton and Transocean New Class Settlements will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against HESI and Transocean or the Released Parties about the punitive damages claims being released by the HESI/Transocean Settlements.
  • New Class Members who are members of the DHEPDS Class but never filed a claim in the DHEPDS Settlement Program and do nothing will not get a payment from the HESI/Transocean Settlements.
  • New Class Members who previously filed a valid DHEPDS claim and do nothing will be eligible for benefits from the HESI/Transocean Settlements.

However, even if you take no action, you will keep your right to sue HESI and Transocean or any of the Released Parties for any other claims not resolved by the HESI/Transocean Settlements or by the Court’s findings. Bodily Injury Claims and BP Shareholder Claims are the “Reserved Claims” and are further described in the HESI and Transocean Settlement Agreements and on the website.

(collapse all)

46. How do I get more information?

The Long Form Notice summarizes the proposed HESI/Transocean Settlements. More details are in the HESI and Transocean Settlement Agreements. You can get a copy of the Settlement Agreements here. You also may write with questions to HESI/TRANSOCEAN Punitive Damages & Assigned Claims Settlements, PO Box 10260, Dublin, OH 43017-5760 or send an e-mail to questions@GulfSpillPunitiveDamagesSettlement.com.

Do not call the Court or any Judge’s office to get information about the HESI and Transocean Settlements.

(collapse all)

47. How do I update my address?

All requests to update your mailing address must be received in writing. Please provide your full name, current and former mailing address along with the written statement that you are requesting to update your mailing address.

These requests may be submitted by email to:
questions@GulfSpillPunitiveDamagesSettlement.com.

Alternatively, you may mail your request to:

HESI/Transocean Punitive Damages & Assigned Claims Settlements
PO Box 10260
Dublin, OH 43017-5760

(collapse all)

48. What are the tax implications of receiving a payment?

The tax implications and reporting of the payments made to claimants vary between individuals and account types, and we are not able to assist or advise, as this would constitute giving legal advice. Please consult a tax professional for questions about tax implications and reporting.

(collapse all)

49. Who are the “Defendants in MDL 2179” that are excluded from the New Class?

The Defendants in the MDL 2179 that are excluded from the New Class are:

  • BP plc, BP Exploration & Production, and BP America
  • Transocean Ltd., Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling, Transocean Deepwater Inc., Transocean Holdings, and Triton
  • Halliburton Energy Services Inc. and Sperry Drilling Services
  • M-I LLC (“M-I Swaco”)
  • Cameron International Corporation
  • Weatherford US LP
  • Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and Anadarko Exploration & Production
  • MOEX 2007 Offshore LLC, MOEX USA Corp. and Mitsui Oil Corp
  • Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and Anadarko Exploration & Production
  • Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC)
  • Airborne Support Inc. and Airborne Support International
  • Lynden
  • Dynamic Aviation Group
  • International Air Response
  • Lane Aviation
  • National Response Corporation (NRC)
  • O’Brien Response Management Inc.
  • Tiger Safety LLC
  • Nalco Company and Nalco Holdings LLC

(collapse all)

50. Who are the BP Released Parties and their employees that are excluded from the New Class?

The BP Released Parties are fully defined in Section 10.3 and Exhibit 20 of the DHEPDS Agreement; the DHEPDS Agreement is available for review by clicking here.

(collapse all)

51. Who are the HESI entities and their employees that are excluded from the New Class?

The Halliburton Released Parties means HESI, Halliburton Company, and their subsidiary companies, and any past, present, and future HESI Affiliates, and each of their respective business units, divisions, product service lines (e.g., Sperry Drilling Services), predecessors, and successors, officers, directors (of Natural Persons performing similar functions), employees, attorneys and administrators, all and only in their capacities as such. Future HESI Affiliates expressly does not include any Entity created by or resulting from a merger with Transocean Entity or a BP Entity, or acquisition of an ownership interest among any of the same.

Affiliate means, with respect to any Natural Person or Entity, any other Natural Person or Entity that, directly or indirectly, through one or more intermediaries, controls or is controlled by, or has the power to control or be controlled by, or is under common control or common ownership with, such Natural Person or Entity.

(collapse all)

52. Who are the Transocean entities and their employees that are excluded from the New Class?

The Transocean entities and employees excluded from the class are Transocean Ltd., Transocean Inc., Triton Asset Leasing GmbH, Transocean Deepwater Inc., Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc., and Transocean Holdings LLC.

(collapse all)

53. If I settled with the Court-appointed Neutrals, am I allowed to participate in the HESI/Transocean Settlements? Do I need to comply with Pretrial Order 60?

Individuals and entities that settled with the Court-appointed Neutrals may be eligible to participate in the HESI/Transocean Settlements. You will need to review the relevant claim types eligible for consideration and file a New Class Claim Form, including a copy of your settlement as part of your required documentation. Pretrial Order 60 requirements/limitations do not apply to those who settle with the Court-appointed Neutrals.

(collapse all)

54. How do I enforce a lien or judgment against the proceeds of a HESI/Transocean Old or New Class member’s award?

Old Class claims: All claimants that receive a DHEPDS initial payment will be eligible to participate in the Old Class distribution. The Old Class distribution will be made by the DHEPDS Claims Administrator only after all DHEPDS claims are determined and paid pursuant to the Old Class Distribution Model.

If the lien or judgment in question was (1) previously provided to the DHEPDS Program, (2) able to be matched to an existing DHEPDS claimant(s), and (3) determined by the Third Party Claims review team to be valid, that lien/judgment will continue to be honored by the DHEPDS Court Supervised Settlement Program, subject to the terms and conditions of the Court-approved third party claims procedure and DHEPDS Claims Administrator's Policy 356 v.2, without any further action on your part. If the debtor did not have a valid DHEPDS claim, he/she/it will not be eligible for an Old Class distribution.

Please keep the contact information associated with your lien or judgment current with the DHEPDS Claims Administrator.

New Class claims: Not all valid, payable DHEPDS claims are eligible New Class claims. Only those claims for a relevant claim type will be transferred to the New Class Claims Administrator. Those DHEPDS claim types include Coastal Real Property, Wetlands Real Property, Vessel Physical Damage, Seafood Compensation (all types), Subsistence, Charterboat Operator Business Economic Loss (no other Business Economic Loss claims are included in the class definition), and Charterboat Crew Individual Economic Loss (no other Individual Economic Loss claims are included in the class definition). The New Class determinations and payments are dependent on the DHEPDS claims process being completed; more detail is available in the proposed New Class Distribution Model. If the debtor was a DHEPDS excluded party or opted out of the DHEPDS Class, he/she/it can file a New Class Claim Form for consideration if there are relevant damages to be considered that are the direct result of the Spill and that party has preserved his/her/its rights to pursue compensatory damages claims.

For New Class claims that are transferred over from existing DHEPDS claim records, lien or judgment information from the DHEPDS will be transferred, but the lien/judgment holder may need to submit an updated Order if the lien/judgment limits recovery to DHEPDS claims as the HESI and Transocean settlements are separate settlements from the DHEPDS. The New Class Claims Administrator will contact lien/judgment holders whose records are transferred to provide an opportunity to perfect their claims prior to distribution. Please refrain from forwarding additional documentation to the New Class Claims Administrator until then.

For DHEPDS excluded and opt out parties, who are eligible to file a New Class Claim Form, lien or judgment documents will be required to be submitted to the New Class Claims Administrator before any review or determination on the validity of that creditor claim can be made. If you believe a New Class claim is being filed with the New Class Claims Administrator, you may forward the lien/judgment to the New Class Claims Administrator after February 1, 2017. Be sure to include as much identifying information for the claimant as possible, for example the claimant’s name/potential alias name(s), address/prior address(es), Social Security or employer identification number, telephone number/prior telephone number(s). Providing documents before this date and/or without the necessary identifying information will delay processing.

(collapse all)

ATTORNEY REPRESENTATION FAQ:

55. How do I assert representation for my clients?

If your client is required to file a New Class claim, which is rare, you will be able to provide representation information on the Claim Form. Review the “Should I File a Claim?” chart on the Claim Form page of this website, and/or the Long Form Notice for more information on whether filing a claim is necessary.

In the vast majority of cases, a New Class claim will not be required as the HESI/Transocean Settlement Program will utilize existing DHEPDS data for most New Class claims’ calculations.

In this instance you will have the opportunity to assert representation when the New Class determination letters are mailed, which will not occur until after all DHEPDS determinations are compete for one or more of the Claim Categories. Please review the Proposed Distribution Model, which is available on the Court Documents page of this website, for more information on how eligibility will be determined.

PLEASE DO NOT file New Class claims for individuals/entities that are not required to file a New Class claim per the “Should I File a Claim?” chart in an effort to assert representation earlier in the process. Duplicate claims will be rejected and your representation status will not be applied to any other claim being considered for that individual/entity as a result of a duplicate claim filing.

If you have specific questions about how you can determine your clients’ eligibility, please email Questions@GulfSpillPunitiveDamagesSettlement.com.

(collapse all)