NEW ORLEANS – After being hit with a defamation lawsuit by a New Orleans area attorney who claims his law firm was mistaken with that of his brother’s in BP advertisements and an Associated Press story regarding the Deepwater Horizon claims process, a BP spokesman has said the lawsuit is baseless.
Geoff Morrell, BP senior vice president, U.S. communications and external affairs, said the oil company is not culpable for damages alleged by New Orleans-area attorney Gilbert “Gibby” Andry.
“This lawsuit has no merit whatsoever, and we will defend ourselves vigorously,” he said.
Gibby Andry and The Andry Law Firm filed the defamation lawsuit against BP Exploration & Production Inc., BP America Production Company, BP attorney Mark Holstein and Associated Press reporter Michael Kunselman.
In the lawsuit, Andry claims that BP mistook his law firm, The Andry Law Firm, with that of his brother John Andry, a member of AndryLerner law firm. AndryLerner was created solely to handle BP claims and has been tied to two fraudulent claims, including one in which an attorney with the Court Supervised Settlement Program – the entity overseeing the claims payment process – has been accused of taking a $40,000 referral fee. The AndryLerner law firm represented 675 claims worth $7.5 million, according to the lawsuit.
Gibby Andry maintains The Andry Law Firm does not represent any claimants, outside of the firm’s own $7.9 million claim.
Gibby Andry further alleges that BP willfully confused his law firm with that of his brother's and in doing so damaged his law firm’s reputation and resulted in a loss of income and that BP’s mistake later led to a story written by Kunselman that confused the two law firms.
Gibby Andry did not respond to a request for comment on this story.