Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Commitments And Contingencies

v3.2.0.727
Commitments And Contingencies
6 Months Ended
Jun. 30, 2015
Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  
Commitments And Contingencies
COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
As of June 30, 2015, the Company's unfunded capital commitments were $432.8 million and included: $142.3 million for 17 offshore support vessels; $1.7 million for two 30,000 barrel inland river liquid tank barges; $6.9 million for eight 10,000 barrel inland river liquid tank barges; $6.8 million for three inland river towboats; $190.3 million for three U.S.-flag product tankers; $41.9 million for one U.S.-flag articulated tug-barge; $20.5 million for two U.S.-flag harbor tugs; and $22.4 million for other equipment and improvements. These commitments are payable as follows: $135.9 million is payable during the remainder of 2015 (including $64.8 million for the construction of SEA-Vista's three U.S.-flag product tankers and one U.S.-flag articulated tug-barge); $233.2 million is payable during 2016 (including $146.9 million for the construction of SEA-Vista's three U.S.-flag product tankers and one U.S.-flag articulated tug-barge); $38.8 million is payable during 2017 (including $20.5 million for the construction of SEA-Vista's three U.S.-flag product tankers); $19.0 million is payable during 2018; and $5.9 million is payable during 2019. Of these commitments, approximately $6.8 million may be terminated without further liability other than the payment of liquidated damages of $0.7 million.
On July 20, 2010, two individuals purporting to represent a class commenced a civil action in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans in the State of Louisiana, John Wunstell, Jr. and Kelly Blanchard v. BP, et al., No. 2010-7437 (Division K) (the “Wunstell Action”), in which they assert, among other theories, that Mr. Wunstell suffered injuries as a result of his exposure to certain noxious fumes and chemicals in connection with the provision of remediation, containment and response services by ORM during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response and clean-up in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The action now is part of the overall multi-district litigation, In re Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon", MDL No. 2179 filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana ("MDL"). The complaint also seeks to establish a “class-wide court-supervised medical monitoring program” for all individuals “participating in BP's Deepwater Horizon Vessels of Opportunity Program and/or Horizon Response Program” who allegedly experienced injuries similar to those of Mr. Wunstell. The Company believes this lawsuit has no merit and will continue to vigorously defend the action and pursuant to contractual agreements with the responsible party, the responsible party has agreed, subject to certain potential limitations, to indemnify and defend ORM in connection with the Wunstell Action and claims asserted in the MDL, discussed further below. Although the Company is unable to estimate the potential exposure, if any, resulting from this matter, the Company does not expect it will have a material effect on the Company's consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
On December 15, 2010, NRC, a subsidiary of the Company prior to the SES Business Transaction, and ORM were named as defendants in one of the several consolidated “master complaints” that have been filed in the overall MDL. The “B3” master complaint naming ORM and NRC asserts various claims on behalf of a putative class against multiple defendants concerning the clean-up activities generally, and the use of dispersants specifically. By court order, the Wunstell Action has been stayed as a result of the filing of the referenced master complaint. The Company believes that the claims asserted against ORM and NRC in the master complaint have no merit and on February 28, 2011, ORM and NRC moved to dismiss all claims against them in the master complaint on legal grounds. On September 30, 2011, the Court granted in part and denied in part the motion to dismiss that ORM and NRC had filed (an amended decision was issued on October 4, 2011 that corrected several grammatical errors and non-substantive oversights in the original order). Although the Court refused to dismiss the referenced master complaint in its entirety at that time, the Court did recognize the validity of the “derivative immunity” and “implied preemption” arguments that ORM and NRC advanced and directed ORM and NRC to (i) conduct limited discovery to develop evidence to support those arguments and (ii) then re-assert the arguments. The Court did, however, dismiss all state-law claims and certain other claims that had been asserted in the referenced master complaint, and dismissed the claims of all plaintiffs that have failed to allege a legally-sufficient injury. A schedule for limited discovery and motion practice was established by the Court and, in accordance with that schedule, ORM and NRC filed for summary judgment re-asserting their derivative immunity and implied preemption arguments on May 18, 2012. Those motions were argued on July 13, 2012 and are still pending decision. On July 17, 2014, the Court issued a pretrial order that established a protocol for disclosures clarifying the basis for the “B3” claims asserted against the Clean-Up Responder Defendants, including ORM and NRC, in the MDL. Under this protocol, Plaintiffs who satisfy certain criteria and believe they have specific evidence in support of their claims, including that any Clean-Up Responder Defendant(s) failed to act pursuant to the authority and direction of the federal government in conducting Deepwater Horizon oil spill remediation and clean-up operations, had to submit a sworn statement or face dismissal. Plaintiffs’ deadline to serve such sworn statements in support of their claims was September 22, 2014, with the exception of several Plaintiffs who were granted an extension until October 10, 2014. On November 14, 2014, the Clean-Up Responder Defendants and the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the MDL submitted a joint report to the Court regarding claimants’ compliance with the pretrial order.  In this joint report, the parties (i) explained how they complied with the notice requirements of Court’s July 17, 2014 pretrial order, (ii) noted that they had received 102 sworn statements in connection with this pretrial order, and (iii) provided the Court with an assessment of the sworn statements received. An additional sworn statement was received after the joint report was submitted. Procedures and next steps in connection with the “B3” claims will now be addressed by the Court. In addition to the indemnity provided to ORM, pursuant to contractual agreements with the responsible party, the responsible party has agreed, subject to certain potential limitations, to indemnify and defend ORM and NRC in connection with these claims in the MDL. Although the Company is unable to estimate the potential exposure, if any, resulting from this matter, the Company does not expect it will have a material effect on the Company's consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
Subsequent to the filing of the referenced master complaint, ten additional individual civil actions have been filed in or removed to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana concerning the clean-up activities generally, which name the Company, ORM and/or NRC as defendants or third-party defendants and are part of the overall MDL. By court order, all of these additional individuals' cases have been stayed until further notice. On April 8, 2011, ORM was named as a defendant in Johnson Bros. Corporation of Louisiana v. BP, PLC, et al., No. 2:11-CV-00781 (E.D. La.), which is a suit by an individual business seeking damages allegedly caused by a delay on a construction project alleged to have resulted from the clean-up operations. On April 13, 2011, the Company was named as a defendant in Mason v. Seacor Marine, LLC, No. 2:11-CV-00826 (E.D. La.), an action in which plaintiff, a former employee, alleges sustaining personal injuries in connection with responding to the explosion and fire, but also in the months thereafter in connection with the clean-up of oil and dispersants while a member of the crew of the M/V Seacor Vanguard. Although the case was subject to the MDL Court’s stay of individual proceedings, the employee moved to sever his case from the MDL on July 16, 2012, which the Court denied on March 5, 2013. The employee filed a motion asking the Court to reconsider, which was denied on May 3, 2013, and the employee filed a Notice of Appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (“Fifth Circuit”) on May 22, 2013. On July 24, 2013, the Company filed a motion to dismiss for lack of appellate jurisdiction, which was granted on August 16, 2013. The same Company employee has also brought a claim in the M/V Seacor Vanguard vessel’s limitation action in the MDL which relates to any actions that may have been taken by vessels owned by the Company to extinguish the fire. On October 20, 2014, the Company moved for summary judgment, seeking dismissal with prejudice of all of the Company employee’s claims in the MDL in light of the Court’s prior rulings. On May 22, 2015, the employee filed an opposition to the Company's motion as well as a motion to be recognized as an opt-out plaintiff or extend the opt-out deadline in connection with the below-referenced Medical Settlement, and on May 29, 2015, the Company filed a reply brief in further support of its motion. On June 10, 2015, the Court granted the Company's motion for summary judgment, dismissing all of the employee's claims against the Company and/or the M/V Seacor Vanguard with prejudice, and denied the employee's May 22, 2015 motion regarding his opt-out position in connection with the Medical Settlement. Final judgments for all of the employee's claims were issued by the Court on June 17, 2015, and the employee filed his Notice of Appeal on July 7, 2015. On April 15, 2011, ORM and NRC were named as defendants in James and Krista Pearson v. BP Exploration & Production, Inc. ("BP Exploration"), et al., No. 2:11-CV-00863 (E.D. La.), which is a suit by a husband and wife who allegedly participated in the clean-up effort and are seeking damages for personal injury, property damage to their boat, and amounts allegedly due under contract. On April 15, 2011, ORM and NRC were named as defendants in Thomas Edward Black v. BP Exploration, et al., No. 2:11-CV-00867 (E.D. La.), which is a suit by an individual who is seeking damages for lost income because he allegedly could not find work in the fishing industry after the oil spill. On April 20, 2011, a complaint was filed in Darnell Alexander, et al. v. BP, PLC, et al., No. 2:11-CV-00951 (E.D. La.) on behalf of 117 individual plaintiffs that sought to adopt the allegations made in the referenced master complaint against ORM and NRC (and the other defendants). Plaintiffs in this matter have since been granted leave to amend their complaint to include 410 additional individual plaintiffs. On October 3, 2012, ORM and NRC were served with a Rule 14(c) Third-Party Complaint by Jambon Supplier II, L.L.C. and Jambon Marine Holdings L.L.C. in their Limitation of Liability action, In the Matter of Jambon Supplier II, L.L.C., et al., No. 2:12-CV-00426 (E.D. La.). This Third-Party Complaint alleges that if claimant David Dinwiddie, who served as a clean-up crewmember aboard the M/V JAMBON SUPPLIER II vessel during the clean-up efforts, was injured as a result of his exposure to dispersants and chemicals during the course and scope of his employment, then said injuries were caused by the third-party defendants. On November 25, 2012, ORM was named as a defendant in Victoria Sanchez v. American Pollution Control Corp. et al., No. 2:12-CV-00164 (E.D. La.), a maritime suit filed by an individual who allegedly participated in the clean-up effort and sustained personal injuries during the course of such employment. On December 17, 2012, the Court unsealed a False Claims Act lawsuit naming ORM as a defendant, Dillon v. BP, PLC et al., No. 2:12-CV-00987 (E.D. La.), which is a suit by an individual seeking damages and penalties arising from alleged false reports and claims made to the federal government with respect to the amount of oil burned and dispersed during the clean-up. The federal government has declined to intervene in this suit. On April 8, 2013, the Company, ORM, and NRC were named as defendants in William and Dianna Fitzgerald v. BP Exploration et al., No. 2:13-CV-00650 (E.D. La.), which is a suit by a husband and wife whose son allegedly participated in the clean-up effort and became ill as a result of his exposure to oil and dispersants. Finally, on April 17, 2013, ORM was named as a defendant in Danos et al. v. BP America Production Co. et al., No. 2:13-CV-03747 (removed to E.D. La.), which is a suit by eight individuals seeking damages for dispersant exposure either as a result of their work during clean-up operations or as a result of their residence in the Gulf. The Company is unable to estimate the potential exposure, if any, resulting from these matters but believes they are without merit and does not expect that they will have a material effect on its consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
On February 18, 2011, Triton Asset Leasing GmbH, Transocean Holdings LLC, Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc., and Transocean Deepwater Inc. (collectively “Transocean”) named ORM and NRC as third-party defendants in a Rule 14(c) Third-Party Complaint in Transocean's own Limitation of Liability Act action, which is part of the overall MDL, tendering to ORM and NRC the claims in the referenced master complaint that have already been asserted against ORM and NRC. Transocean, Cameron International Corporation (“Cameron”), Halliburton Energy Services, Inc., and M-I L.L.C. (“M-I”) also filed cross-claims against ORM and NRC for contribution and tort indemnity should they be found liable for any damages in Transocean's Limitation of Liability Act action and ORM and NRC asserted counterclaims against those same parties for identical relief. Weatherford U.S., L.P. and Weatherford International, Inc. (collectively “Weatherford”) had also filed cross-claims against ORM and NRC, but moved to voluntarily dismiss these cross-claims without prejudice on February 8, 2013. The Court granted Weatherford's motion that same day. Transocean's limitation action, and thus the remainder of the aforementioned cross-claims, remains pending, although the Court has found Cameron and M-I to be not liable in connection with the Deepwater Horizon incident and resultant oil spill and dismissed these parties from the MDL. As indicated above, the Company is unable to estimate the potential exposure, if any, resulting from these actions but believes they are without merit and does not expect that these matters will have a material effect on its consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
On November 16, 2012, 668 individuals who served as beach clean-up workers in Escambia County, Florida during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response commenced a civil action in the Circuit Court for the First Judicial Circuit of Florida, in and for Escambia County, Abney et al. v. Plant Performance Services, LLC et al., No. 2012-CA-002947, in which they allege, among other things, that ORM and other defendants engaged in the contamination of Florida waters and beaches in violation of Florida Statutes Chapter 376 and injured the plaintiffs by exposing them to dispersants during the course and scope of their employment. The case was removed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida on January 13, 2013, Abney et al. v. Plant Performance Services, LLC et al., No. 3:13-CV-00024 (N.D. Fla.), and on January 16, 2013, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (“JPML”) issued a Conditional Transfer Order (“CTO”) transferring the case to the MDL, subject to any timely-filed notice of objection from the plaintiffs. Upon receipt of a notice of objection from the plaintiffs, a briefing schedule was set by the JPML, and so a stay of proceedings and suspension of deadlines was sought and obtained by the Court in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. Following briefing before the JPML, the case was transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana and consolidated with the MDL on April 2, 2013. On April 22, 2013, a companion case to this matter was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, Abood et al. v. Plant Performance Services, LLC et al., No. 3:13-CV-00284 (N.D. Fla.), which alleges identical allegations against the same parties but names an additional 174 plaintiffs, all of whom served as clean-up workers in various Florida counties during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response. A CTO was issued by the JPML on May 2, 2013, no objection was filed by the plaintiffs, and the case was transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana and consolidated with the MDL on May 10, 2013. By court order, both of these matters have been stayed until further notice. The Company is unable to estimate the potential exposure, if any, resulting from these matters but believes they are without merit and does not expect that these matters will have a material effect on its consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
Separately, on March 2, 2012, the Court announced that BP Exploration and BP America Production Company (“BP America”) (collectively “BP”) and the plaintiffs had reached an agreement on the terms of two proposed class action settlements that will resolve, among other things, plaintiffs' economic loss claims and clean-up related claims against BP. The parties filed their proposed settlement agreements on April 18, 2012 along with motions seeking preliminary approval of the settlements. The Court held a hearing on April 25, 2012 to consider those motions and preliminarily approved both settlements on May 2, 2012. A final fairness hearing took place on November 8, 2012. The Court granted final approval to the Economic and Property Damages Class Action Settlement ("E&P Settlement") on December 21, 2012, and granted final approval to the Medical Benefits Class Action Settlement ("Medical Settlement") on January 11, 2013. Both class action settlements were appealed to the Fifth Circuit. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the MDL Court’s decision concerning the E&P Settlement on January 10, 2014, and also affirmed the MDL Court’s decision concerning the interpretation of the E&P Settlement with respect to business economic loss claims on March 3, 2014. The appeal of the Medical Settlement, on the other hand, was voluntarily dismissed and the Medical Settlement became effective on February 12, 2014. The deadline for submitting claims in both settlements have passed. Although neither the Company, ORM, nor NRC are parties to the settlement agreements, the Company, ORM, and NRC are listed as released parties on the releases accompanying both settlement agreements. Consequently, class members who did not file timely requests for exclusion will be barred from pursuing economic loss, property damage, personal injury, medical monitoring, and/or other released claims against the Company, ORM, and NRC. The Company believes these settlements have reduced the Company's and ORM's potential exposure, if any, from some of the pending actions described above, and continues to evaluate the settlements' impacts on these cases. The Company is unable to estimate the potential exposure, if any, resulting from these matters but believes they are without merit and does not expect that these matters will have a material effect on its consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
ORM recently settled three collective action lawsuits that asserted failure to pay overtime with respect to individuals who provided service on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). These cases: Himmerite et al. v. O'Brien's Response Management Inc. et al. (E.D. La., Case No.: 2:12-cv-01533) (the “Himmerite Action”); Dennis Prejean v. O'Brien's Response Management Inc. (E.D. La., Case No.: 2:12-cv-01045) (the “Prejean Action”); and Baylor Singleton et. al. v. O'Brien's Response Management Inc. et. al. (E.D. La., Case No.: 2:12-cv-01716) (the “Singleton Action”) were brought in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on behalf of certain individuals who worked on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response. In the Singleton action, on February 13, 2014, the parties reached a full and final settlement agreement with respect to all of the Plaintiffs' individual claims for an undisclosed immaterial amount. On April 11, 2014, the Court approved the parties’ settlement and dismissed the Singleton Action with prejudice in its entirety, which extinguished the tolling of claims that had been in place for absent putative plaintiffs.
In the Prejean action, the parties reached a full and final settlement agreement on November 6, 2014 with respect to all of the Plaintiffs’ individual and collective action claims for an undisclosed immaterial amount. The Court approved the settlement and dismissed the Prejean Action with prejudice in its entirety on November 19, 2014.
In the Himmerite action, the parties reached a full and final settlement agreement on February 19, 2015 with respect to all of the Plaintiffs' claims for an undisclosed immaterial amount. The Court approved the settlement and dismissed the Himmerite Action with prejudice in its entirety on March 25, 2015, which also extinguished the tolling of claims which had been in place for absent putative plaintiffs.
In the course of the Company's business, it may agree to indemnify the counterparty to an agreement. If the indemnified party makes a successful claim for indemnification, the Company would be required to reimburse that party in accordance with the terms of the indemnification agreement. Indemnification agreements generally are subject to threshold amounts, specified claim periods and other restrictions and limitations.
In connection with the SES Business Transaction, the Company remains contingently liable for certain obligations, including potential liabilities relating to work performed in connection with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response. Pursuant to the agreement governing the sale, the Company's potential liability to the purchaser may not exceed the consideration received by the Company for the SES Business Transaction. The Company is currently indemnified under contractual agreements with BP for the potential liabilities relating to work performed in connection with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response.
In the normal course of its business, the Company becomes involved in various other litigation matters including, among other things, claims by third parties for alleged property damages and personal injuries. Management has used estimates in determining the Company's potential exposure to these matters and has recorded reserves in its financial statements related thereto where appropriate. It is possible that a change in the Company's estimates of that exposure could occur, but the Company does not expect such changes in estimated costs would have a material effect on the Company's consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.