Category Archives: DeepWater Horizon Settlement
The BP Claims Settlement is Back On and time is running out..
Emails and letters are being sent by the leadership of the Settlement in mass.
However, the deadline to file of June 8 is fast approaching and requires immediate action.
We have found that many claimants have fallen through the cracks when indeed they had a justifiable business claim.
This was either due to mishandling by certain claims professionals or the confusion created by the complicated, and to some, misleading filing process.
If you wish to get professional help to revive and old claim, or move your claim from one processor to another or yourself, all you need to use is an AR1 form. here is a link to one.
If an Attorney/Processor has done their job, expect them to lien the file.
Judge Barbier has not taken kindly to Attorneys/Processors liening files that he found to have little or know time in.
The claimants still have RIGHTS, and need to know what they can do to keep their claims alive.
The mishandling of claims from certain vendors inside the settlement can not be ignored.
In my opinion hiring people unskilled in this process was a huge detriment to the whole settlement, and it is my belief, it intentionally was meant to thwart the whole process, and Pat Juneau and his staff became targets for trying to fix it, and thank God they did to a large degree by bringing in some very good processors and reworking the mess that was handed to them.
To check your claims status go to
https://www2.deepwaterhorizoneconomicsettlement.com/un-secure/Claimantstatus.aspx and have your claim number and the last 4 digits of your social security or ein number for your business available.
How BP Claims got lost in the shuffle
When the claims process was switched from GCCF to Deep Water Horizon, many claimants never fully transferred to the new process. Their information did, but needed forms, that to many looked like junk mail, were thrown in the trash.
Those claims can be brought back to life, your documents are still there.
The amount of people that had filed through the GCCF before transitioning over to the New DeepWater Horizon Settlement was around 1 Million.
The amount of claims ever filed with DeepWater far, far less.
The claim process was then halted during the Deepwater Horizon Settlement by Delay tactics by BP.
New rules like 495 and smoothing and matching tests were added.
What happened in many experts opinions is that 25% or so of what were thought to be solid claims will be ineligible, and will be documented to death.
What also happened was that the connection between the oil spill no longer applied for most Business Economic Loss Claims.
If your Business Claim meets the V Trend model for your zone you could get paid.
You just have to show a loss in 2010 for 90 or more consecutive days versus the same period in 2009, and an upswing for the same 90 or plus days in 2011. These ups and downs that make the V-Trend are different for every zone, and there are exceptions.
If you can also demonstrate you had even better numbers in 2007 and 2008 during those same 90 plus days you can also bring those years into the equation.
The critical dates in determining a loss are from 4/20/10 ( the day of the spill) to 11/31/10. for more on the V Trend go here.
You will need monthly p and l`s and tax records for the years and the time periods you use to substantiate your claim.
At this point in time keeping good records is a must to qualify for the settlement. Many of those records are still sitting in the DeepWater Database and just need to be revived.
If your records are just sitting in limbo we can Help.
There is still time to reactivate these suspended files , we can help.
It has been our experience that so many of these business claims with denied statuses, are still viable. Let us hear from you today if you would like our help.
Don’t leave money on the table for BP that is yours!
Claims are getting paid Now.
Recently our firm assisted in getting a 4 million dollar plus claim paid, we have also helped some smaller businesses see 20k-500k in paid BP Claims very recently.
We process claims, and we have the largest claims processing network in the country.
So if you need help call 1-800-BP-CLAIM or 1-800-272-5246
Get the money you deserve, file your BP claim today
Since the recent court rulings, we are now seeing BP claims paying again. About a month after the decision made by the Fifth Circuit Court ordering BP to resume payments, we began to see a regular flow in the way of notices and some payments.
Keep in mind, all claims that were not paid prior to the halt in payments that was ordered in late 2013 have to be recalculated to determine if they are going to be subject to Policy 495 (which involves matching and smoothing financial statements to avoid showing an overstated loss).
If the company has financial statements showing a revenue trend making it subject to 495, the claim will be recalculated according to the new Policy.
This means that an earlier estimate you received may change, and you may have to wait a little longer to receive your claim.
We are now seeing Zone A businesses and individual claims paying at this time.
It appears the focus is on claims from the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2013.
We have also been told that medical claims are now paying out, but only the smaller ones, claims of around $1,300.00.
One of the huge problems we are starting to see is that people may have a claim filed, but they have not heard anything from the claims office or attorney they filed with.
While it is not unusual for a claim to take a couple of years to pay out, not hearing ANYTHING may indicate a problem.
We have discovered that some of the firms have abandoned their clients, and many of those claims have been denied. Some of these clients were never notified.
Don’t worry, it is fixable.
1800BPCLAIM is still filing claims, since there is not an official effective date, there is not an official deadline. After the effective date is set, claims can still be filed for six months past the effective date.
Here are some of the problems we have been seeing with clients from other firms:
- Claimants have incomplete notices that have not been cured
- Claims have been denied without the claimant’s knowledge
- Many claimants discover they have to start over in the claims process
WE CAN HELP. If there is a problem with your claim, it is possible for you to take control of your claim and take a course of action that will enable you to collect the money you are entitled to.
How To Check The Status of Your Claim
You can quickly discover the status of your claim by going to www.deepwaterhorizoneconomicsettlement.com, then go to check my status. You will need you claimant ID and the last four digits of your business or social security number.
You should be able to check your status on-line, or you can call 866-992-6174 to reach Deepwater Horizon directly.
If you find your claim has been dropped due to processor error, call us. We can help. We have never stopped filing and we will continue to file claims until the last BP Claim is filed.
Call Us at 1-800-BP-CLAIMS (1-800-272-5246)
We are based out of Sarasota Florida.
Author Kathy Schulz
Polar Opposites: David Duval compared with Judge Edith Clement
This morning I saw the second Freeh Report, which basically highlighted David Duval`s departure from the Deepwater Horizon Settlement.
It seems to me that the only chink in Mr. Duval’s armor was an email that he sent to his cousin regarding a panelists comments. Neither Mr. Duval or his cousin had any sort of monetary gain at stake from sending it, or reading it.
As the report noted, Mr. Duval was forthright immediately. As I understand it, he actually told the DWHS Leadership, and I will repeat this again, he had no financial gain whatsoever in sending this email to his cousin who is also an attorney.
He immediately resigned, as sending the email was contrary to an agreement that he had with the leadership of the Deepwater Horizon Settlement regarding confidentiality, and he wanted to avoid any hint of impropriety.
Now lets Compare Judge Clement’s Actions to David Duval’s
Let’s compare what happened to David Duval and how he dealt with it, versus what is going on with Judge Clement and her relationships with Big Oil.
Clement will not Leave the FREE organization (Foundation for the Environment and Economics)
Another opinion on F.R.E.E.
This is sourcewatch.org’s view of the FREE Organization –
Based out of Bozeman, Montana, FREE is a prime engine for free market environmentalism in the area of education.
The chairman, John Baden (a past member of the National Petroleum Council), preaches reliance on market mechanisms and private property rights, rather than on environmental law, for protection of the environment. Baden stresses decentralization – a shift of control from what he calls “Green platonic despots in D.C.” to “local interests.”
In reference to the agenda of FREE, Baden has written that it’s, “the norm among progressive, intellectually honest and successful environmentalists.”
One of the newest FREE plans is the “Charter Forest” project, in which national forests would no longer operate under the “multiple use” standard. Instead, each forest would be managed by whomever could make the greatest profit from it.
FREE has been offering all expense-paid trips to seminars for federal judges.
These seminars which feature such topics as “The Environment: A CEO’s Perspective” are usually held at private ranches or resorts in Montana with a plethora of amenities for the judges to enjoy. In the late 90’s, FREE bragged that nearly 1/3 of the federal judiciary had either attended or was seeking to attend one of their seminars.
The Koch Brother Support FREE:
This is from GREENPEACE
Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group is the
Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment (FREE)
GreenPeace reported that FREE received $430,000 from Koch foundations 2005-2011 [Total Koch foundation grants 1997-2011: $1,525,000].
Peter Geddes, Executive Vice President of FREE, has advocated against taking action on climate change because warming is “inevitable” and expensive to address. In addition, FREE sponsors seminars for federal judges that have been criticized for creating judicial conflicts of interest.
It gets BETTER – guess who The Koch brothers do Business with, BP of course.
The Koch Brothers even pollute the environment with BP, just ask the residents on the East Side of Chicago. This was recently documented by the Huffington Post. Here is the article.
So Judge Clement who is a board member of FREE, who takes large donations from the Koch Brothers, who work with BP, and both pollute the environment.
It is Very Very Clear that Judge Clement has a conflict of interest here, she should not be in any way associated with BP. Yet the Companies who fund her organization work closely with BP.
For further clarification of the Junkets for Judges program and Judge Clements TAINTED relationship with FREE click here.
This is from their website
FREE’s mission is to imagine and implement an economic way of thinking that is consistent with a society of free and responsible individuals
In essence they are for deregulation of the Energy and Oil Industrial sector, but they do have a few noble endeavors towards helping wildlife, but don`t let that fool you. This is an organization with a lot of influence that works for Big Oil and their interests.
It is funded by Exxon/Mobil, the Koch Brothers,Texaco, Exxon, General Electric, Monsanto, and Shell. They are the major players in the Oil and Gas Industry.
Judge Clement has a relationship with an organization which she has been asked to step down from by Committee on Codes of Conduct of the Judicial Conference of the United Stated District Court other judges have stepped down from FREE, so that there would not be a conflict of interest. Judge Clement still participates in FREE as a board member
Judge Clement appears to have a long-standing relationship with Big Oil she was appointed to the bench by George W. Bush and we all know he loved big oil. Bush signed the most sweeping bill to deregulate oil in 2005. Judge Clement was assigned to the 5th Circuit in 2001. Do you think that George Bush had an agenda to advance Big Oils interests, YOU BET HE DID.
If you look at Judge Clement’s stock portfolio you will notice that many of her mutual funds have energy stocks within them, she had interest in BP stock until 2009 or so.
If you compare David Duval`s actions and voluntarily resigning, versus Judge Clement’s refusal to recuse herself after a relationship with FREE. They are polar opposite in terms of integrity.
It is clear that Mr Duval has taken the high road while Judge Clement stands firm with Big Oil, and this has negatively impacted the BP Claims Settlement, either by her own ideology which is why Bush appointed her, or because of her relationship with Big Oil or a combination there of.
It is very clear what her next move should be, and it is not hearing the next appeal, but to step down from FREE, and correct any public perception of impropriety .
We want to Hear From You
If you are involved with the DeepWater Horizon Settlement and would like to write a blog for this page please feel free to email us at Kathy@BPClaims.org.
You are welcome to visit our FaceBook page.
Written by: Bill Bohack
“IS THE BP CLAIMS PROCESS BEING HIJACKED BY FRIENDS OF BIG OIL”
On Thursday morning, January 16, I was sent a link to an article written by James Gill of The Advocate in Baton Rouge.
The article was on Judge Edith Clement, who is the 5th Circuit Judge that originally sided with BP, and will hear more of BP`s appeals in the very near future.
The article points out that there may be a good reason that this judge, who seems to be very friendly to BP with her written opinions, is making the decisions that greatly benefit BP, and not the people that were financially harmed by the worst man-made disaster in U.S. history.
Judge Clement and FREE
The article points out that Judge Clement has for years been a board member one of the most active front organizations, for Big Oil and Energy. She is a board member of The Foundation for Research into Economics and the Environment (a.k.a. FREE). This organization seems to be very pro big oil, as its chairperson, John Baden, is a past member of the National Petroleum Council.
As the article points out, Judge Clement’s picture is on the website, she is a board member. This group is funded by Big Oil and takes luxurious junkets yearly, one of the last ones being to Montana, it was estimated by an independent group that the cost per individual of that trip was 10,000 dollars a head. It is not clear where all of the funding for this group comes from but it is clear that, at least in part, it is funded by big oil. One of the major financial contributors is Exxon/Mobil.
Apparently sometime in 2005, Judge Andre M. Davis was a board member of this same group and someone filed a formal complaint citing the obvious conflict of interest. Judge Davis requested an opinion from the Committee on Codes of Conduct of the Judicial Conference of the United Stated District Court. Their opinion was issued on March 30, 2005 and it clearly explained that the honorable judge was violating several rules by being on the board of FREE. In a nut shell, the opinion was that the judge’s service on the board of this group calls into question the judge’s partiality on certain issues. Since the group is funded in part by “Big Oil” who would you think the judge would favor in a court case?
The article goes on to explain that Douglas Kendall, the President of the Constitutional Accountability Center in Washington, DC, wrote to Clement pointing out the Judicial Conference of the United States had ruled that joining FREE’s board was against its code of conduct, she did not respond. Click here to read the letter to Judge Clement dated December 9, 2010.
She is still a member to this day and you can see a picture of her here, she is on the Board of DirectorsJUDGE EDITH CLEMENT FINANCIAL DISCLOSURES AND BP STOCK
If you look at Judge Clements 2011 financial disclosures here is a l link to them you will see how vested she is an energy stocks, specifically Vanguard which is as I understand is one of the largest stockholders of BP stock in the United States. Please understand, I am not saying any of the Vanguard mutual funds she owns has BP Stock in them, but should`nt this and her relationship with FREE at the very least be looked into.
Top Mutual Fund Holders of BP Stock according to Yahoo Finance.
Franklin Custodian Funds-Income Fund
Vanguard/Wellington Fund Inc.
Vanguard/Windsor II 15,549,869
Vanguard Specialized-Energy Fund
DFA International Value Series
American Mutual Fund Inc
Invesco Comstock Fd 4,826,424
American Beacon Large Cap Value Fd
Hartford Capital Appreciation Fund
Vanguard/Windsor Fund Inc
Why does this matter?
In the judicial system of the United States, judges are required to recuse themselves (remove themselves from participating in a case), not only when they are biased, but even when they may appear biased to a neutral observer. This appearance-based recusal standard is intended to ensure the judge’s impartiality in resolving disputes, to protect the judiciary’s reputation, and to instill public confidence in the fairness of the courts.
Just a side note here, George Busch appointed her, we know who he stands with, and that is Big Oil. Judge Clement also owned BP stock as late as 2009.
At this point, it appears many are questioning the impartiality of Judge Clement with regard to the BP case.
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I am pleased to tell everyone that the BP SETTLEMENT will resume. When? We really don`t know, but we are a whole lot closer. The 5th circuit judges as a majority, ruled in favor of Judge Barbier`s previous decisions. I speak for many when I tell you how pleased we all are.
We Thank The 5TH Circuit for actually “Making it Right” and for Judge Barbier and Patrick Juneau for having it RIGHT the whole time. We further appreciate Judge Barbier and Patrick Juneau for sticking to their guns, and holding BP accountable.
The Fifth Circuit Judges “Made it Right” by lifting the stay for Business Economic Losses or BEL`s imposed by a previous 5TH Circuit Panel.
BP was in a no lose position
Either BP could stall the settlement, or get it thrown out, they stalled. As BP stalled the settlement for the last several months, you need to wonder how much money BP accrued through its holdings during that time. How much money did BP save during this period, and how much did BP make with the money they should have been paying oil spill claims with.
Barbier and Juneau had it Right from the Start
Juneau and Judge Barbier had it right from the beginning. BP had made an agreement that showed causation through the V test and other models and they were bound by the terms of that agreement.
In reality all this is was, was another stall tactic by BP.
There is no doubt that we’ve seen this before during the GCCF days and the BP settlement era. What it comes down to is, it just takes more time for people to get paid, and some people with VALID BP Claims will just let their claims go, and let BP off the hook, , they wore them down, don`t let them.
Some BP Claims /CPA`s /Processors/Attorneys/have Quit handling BP Claims
As part of the collateral damage many groups just could not afford to process BP claims anymore, or just elected not to. It is difficult to justify a continual expenditure on BP claims that just don`t seem to get paid. By BP continually stalling it, put many groups in a tough financial position.
Other issues are that many CPA groups, specifically the smaller ones are not staffed to handle BP claims and the regular accounting load. and these guys are now heading into tax season.
If you are a a group or firm that needs help with it`s BP Claims Case load call 1-800-BP-CLAIM. We have other processors and attorney`s that would be happy to work something out with you.
The BP claims processes was meant to to get people paid. Plain and simple, not get blocked by BP every step of the way.
BP`s strategy revealed they would use of the Delay, Deny and Defend strategy. This is the standard strategy by unscrupulous insurance companies and BP.
Written by: W.C Bohack
BP tries to cut budget to slow payment of BP Claims
Patrick Juneau, the Claims Administrator of the Deepwater Horizon Settlement has stated he believes BP is attempting to slow down the BP Claims process.
Continuing to ask for budgets cuts, payment halts, and appeals, is all part of their scheme to keep as much money for themselves as possible. If you’ve been following the settlement and keeping up with the ongoing proceedings, you would know this is nothing new.
We have talked to processors and Attorneys who have seen up to a 400% spike in BP appealing claims over the last 5 weeks.
For the fourth quarter, BP has asked for a $25.5 million budget cut for the processing of BP Claims through the Deepwater Horizon Court Supervised Settlement. A few months back, they had also asked for a budget cut for the third quarter but were denied by Judge Barbier.
The budget being requested for the fourth quarter is based upon the claims administrators supported estimate of costs needed to employ enough staff to keep BP claims at the current backlog rate. Of the over 200,000 claims that have been received by the settlement there are over 88,000 that have not yet begun review.
Why is it taking so long to process BP Claims?
BP figures the more roadblocks they throw at the claimants, the more people will become frustrated and give up. They challenge the settlement and the claimants every step of the way. Juneau requested the budget to hire an additional 100 accounts to review complex Business Economic Loss Claims, but was shot down by BP. What does that mean? The claims process will continue to drag on at the current rate of processing; slow and not so steady.
The probing into the settlement conducted by Louis Freeh revealed that Brown Greer, an independent processing group hired by BP and the Plaintiffs Steering Committee, resisted the Claims Administrators Office’s efforts to create efficiencies and control costs. It is important to note that Brown Greer was negotiated into the Settlement by BP.
It has been said that Brown Greer just wants to promote the business and financial interests of their own company. Brown Greer`s monthly fee from the settlement is over 15 million dollars.
After following Brown Greer and their strategy to slow down the BP Claims process during the GCCF era, and now the BP Settlement era, one can only wonder if they are in collusion with BP, and that is why BP negotiated them into the Settlement.
You would think after the debacle that the GCCF was, that the last thing anybody would want is to leave the company that was in charge of processing the bulk of the claims in play at any capacity, but no BP insisted that their role would continue into the Settlement. BP clearly has an agenda and Brown Greer is a part of that agenda.
After seeing the writing on the wall, the BP Settlement Leadership was smart enough to bring in Postlethwaite and Netterville to assist with expediting BP Claims for the BP Settlement. This took time for them to realize, for many businesses and individuals it only exacerbated their current economic condition. Postlethwaite and Netterville has done an excellent job in processing BP Claims for the DeepWater Horizon Settlement.
Brown Greer slowed the claims process during the GCCF era, indeed forcing many people to take Quick Pays, this pattern continued into Settlement, It is because of this negligence, ineptitude, and sheer contempt, that those who were forced to take Quick Pays should be allowed to comeback to the table under the Settlement or some other apparatus. These people deserve to be made whole, not to be Victimized a second or third time by a processor that clearly has it`s own agenda, and it certainly is not helping the people of the Gulf Region.
Since Brown Greer was also involved in processing claims for the GCCF when it was in existence. Many claimants and attorneys believe they should be investigated for mishandling claims during that era. Did Brown Greer stall the claims process for the companies own interests?
Look at the history. They worked with Feinberg who was hired by BP to create the quick pay option which robbed many people of the settlements they rightfully deserved. They delayed in paying people, and that placed many in or near bankruptcy, businesses and homes were lost due to their lack of action. Those that took quick pays should be allowed back to the settlement, or at least a chance for a recalculation to compensate for actual losses.
All of this being said, this is Brown Greer`s history. In the end, the only interests they have served are their own, and BP`s.
It has been rumored that Brown Greer is attempting to take control of aspects of the BP settlement, and exude it`s influence. We have seen this firsthand, and we can tell you this it`s not helping people get paid, actually it`s quite the opposite.
Find out if you Qualify for the BP Settlement
If would you like to find out if you qualify to file a claim, don’t hesitate to contact us today for a free claim evaluation. The deadline to file all claims is vastly approaching. Call us today at 1-800-BP-CLAIM or complete the form on this page, and we will contact you within 24 hours.
Article Source: BP Claims
Author: Brittany Rader
While BP is yet again trying to stall payment to claims filed through the Deepwater Horizon Court Supervised Settlement, a federal magistrate ordered them to pay $130 million dollars in fees to the claims administrator.
The judge ruled that BP must cough up the amount that was previously agreed upon as a part of the third-quarter budget. The settlement supervisor, Judge Carl Barbier, upheld this ruling after it was appealed by BP, even though the judge felt that BP had raised valid concerns in reference to fraudulent claims.
While the judges were aware of the ongoing concerns, they discerned that it was not plausible to cut off funding to the program with such short notice. Claims Administrator, Patrick Juneau believes the settlement would be in jeopardy of closing if it could not cover its expenses.
BP has asked for a stay on BP Claim payouts until the investigation taking place at the settlement program has ended. Louis Freeh, former FBI director, is looking into accusations of foul play by an attorney and other staff members that have been brought into question. Lionel H. Sutton III resigned in June because of allegations that before coming to work for the settlement he had referred several potential BP Claims to attorneys and was getting a cut of the proceeds. There were other allegations that a representative from a claimant assistance center in Alabama was helping claimants submit fraudulent claims for a portion of the proceeds.
The federal judge has not yet made a decision about the payment stall on BP Claims.
At BPClaims.org we believe in the integrity of the Deepwater Horizon Settlement. We believe that this institution is there to help the people. The claims process may be a slow process, but there are very strict guidelines that must be followed. A few bad apples would be found in virtually any organization that is inspected thoroughly. That does not make the settlement as a whole corrupt. We know that Carl Barbier and Pat Juneau are fighting for the people of the Gulf, and that they will continue to.
In the meantime, let the BP Claim payments continue to roll out.
By: W.C. Bohack
BP Settlement News
It seems as if BP will try just about anything to stop paying out BP Claims. Their new full-page ads in The Wall Street Journal and New York Times are stating that many lawyers and claimants whose losses are not spill-related are benefiting from the settlement.
Establishing the new “BP Fraud-Hotline” is another scare tactic the company is using to deter claimants from filing. This hotline is for “people that want to do the right thing by reporting fraud or corruption” in any step of the claims filing process. Even though many believe the monkey business that was going on behind the scenes of the settlement was an isolated incident, BP is trying to scare people away from filing claims with the threat of being found guilty of fraud.
The Truth behind the BP Settlement
The truth of the matter is that BP AGREED to this court supervised settlement. THEY set up the guidelines and parameters. THEY established the affected “Economic Loss Zones” and determined the percent of decline and incline in revenue needed to prove the claimant’s causation.
Their negligence and greed caused the biggest oil spill disaster in history, they should be held accountable, and they should certainly be held accountable to pay the qualifying claims under the settlement they AGREED to.
BP’s tactic is delay, deny, and defend.
They delay BP Claim payment with incompleteness notices, document investigation processes, and appeals.
They deny BP Claims when they are missing one piece of documentation that is not accounted for.
They defend themselves by continually asking the courts to stall payments so they can keep gaining interest on the remaining amount left in the settlement.
They’ve asked to exclude certain industries from the settlement numerous times.
The fact of the matter is BP agreed to the terms of the Court Supervised Settlement. It was written to pay BP Claims which meet certain guidelines, and to exclude certain entities as well. Thus far, their efforts to change the guidelines of the settlement have been unsuccessful. They cannot rewrite the settlement they agreed to. If they are somehow able to change the settlement in their favor, something needs to be done for those that lost everything but were outside of a zone, or those who took quick pays for much less than they deserved when they had no other choice.
BPClaims.org is here to help with your BP Settlement
We are on your side. We fight for the people of the gulf. We know what BP is doing, and that they are trying to paint themselves to be the victims of fraudulent claims. Their greed and negligence took 11 lives in 2010. Who were the victims then? Who are the true victims? So many have lost their livelihood and health because of this disaster. BP is just a big corporation trying to keep their money in their pockets
By: W.C. Bohack
Halliburton Pleads Guilty to Destroying Evidence
This is the third company that has pled guilty to the conditions surrounding the oil spill. Halliburton is the world’s second-largest oil field services company, and will be required to pay a maximum $200,000 fine in relation to this misdemeanor. (Roughly four minutes worth of revenue for the company)
Halliburton voluntarily paid out $55 million dollars to the National Fish and Wildlife Fund to try and gain some clout with the public and clear their name. However, seeing that this is a non-profit organization, it will likely result in a tax write off for the company.
Following the rupture of the Macondo oil well, the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig triggered the largest offshore oil spill in history and left 11 dead. The ripple effects of the spill destroyed and devastated the environment and the economy of the Gulf Coast.
The allegations in the case were that during the creation of the Macondo well, Halliburton recommended to BP that it contain 21 centralizers. Centralizers are metal collars that can improve cementing, thus making the well more secure. However, BP chose to use just 6 centralizers. After the blowout, the government probed into the cementing of the well and this is when Halliburton ordered computer simulations showing little difference in using 6 centralizers and 21 centralizers to be destroyed. Government efforts to later locate these simulations were unsuccessful.
The Department of Justice still may pursue criminal charges against individuals involved in destroying evidence, but a spokeswoman for the company does not believe that will be the case.
It is surprising the government would accept a plea for such a minor charge, given the oil spill was one of the worst in history. This ruling is in stark contrast to the Enron market manipulation a decade ago, where destruction of evidence led to multiple felonies including obstruction of justice.
Yet again, more evidence of the US government taking it easy on big corporations. Maybe not so surprising as former Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney was responsible for obtaining multiple contracts for the company while holding federal government positions. How can this ruling be impartial? It seems those who are a part of the law sure know how to get around it.
By Author: Brittany Rader
How can you receive the BP Settlement you deserve?
Not only did the April 2010 BP oil spill cause extreme damage and devastation to the environment, it also had a ripple effect throughout the entire economy of the Gulf Coast of the United States. Businesses and Individuals in the affected areas saw a decline in revenue and earnings following the incident as a direct result of the lack of tourism, rising prices of seafood, and many other factors. The first response for economic reimbursement was the GCCF, later replaced by the BP Settlement which now oversees all claims.
How do I know if I qualify to file a BP claim?
To be eligible to file a valid BP Settlement claim, a business or an individual’s business address must fall within one of the specified BP Economic Loss Zones. The claimant must also make sure that the nature of their business is not included on the list of ineligible entities. At this point, financial documentation will need to be provided to prove the loss.
BP Settlement Individual Claims
Individual claimants will need to provide tax documents and pay period earning statements from at least 2009-2011 to show that their hours or wages were reduced as a direct result of the spill. Most individuals also will need to establish an eligible employer by having an authorized business representative submit a sworn statement that the employee’s financial losses were directly related to the spill.
The amount of compensation an individual can expect to receive is directly correlated to the amount of money they lost in the compensation period as compared to the benchmark period. Therefore, every payout will vary on a claim to claim basis.
BP Settlement Business Claims
Businesses outside of Zone A must prove their damages by passing a causation test. The causation test is an algorithmic calculation which uses financial figures from a business’s monthly profit and loss statements to determine the eligibility of the claim. This test uses the provided figures to try to find a certain percentage of decline in revenue in the months following the spill in 2010, as compared to those same months in 2009. The financials should also show a certain percentage of uptake in those same months in 2011. The percentage of decline in 2010 and incline in 2011 that are needed to pass the “V-trend test” will vary based upon which geographical zone the businesses address falls within.
The amount of compensation a business can expect to receive is based upon which zone the business is located in, the nature of the business as evidenced by the NACIS code, and the amount of loss in the compensation period. Once again, the amount of compensation will vary on a claim by claim basis, as many factors come into play for business claims.
Is there a quick way to find out my eligibility?
For a BP Settlement business claim, we can run the basic financials through our preliminary calculator and quickly determine if the claim passes causation or if it does not. For a preliminary calculation we would need:
The business address
Monthly Gross Revenue for Jan 2007-Dec 2011
If the business passes causation we would then need further documentation to calculate the businesses estimated compensation amount and to make the claim complete under the guidelines of the Deepwater Horizon Settlement.
Do I Need to Hire a Professional?
It is not completely necessary to hire a professional. Many people file claims on their own without representation. However, there are many reasons why you might choose to seek guidance on this matter. We hear from business and individual claimants every day who have filed claims on their own and are being delayed with multiple incompleteness notices and are frustrated and fed-up.
The Court-Supervised 1,300 page BP Settlement is an extremely detailed and convoluted document which can be overwhelming and disheartening to those who have no prior experience with the legal components that professionals are equipped to handle.
What Services do we offer?
Our team of experts helps you gather and prepare the needed documents for review. The claim is then assessed for eligibility, completeness and validity. Business claims are calculated either by a CPA or under the direct supervision of a CPA to ensure accuracy of the expected compensation figure. At this time the complete claim will be filed.
Once the claim is filed to the Deepwater Horizon Settlement, should there be any discrepancies regarding paperwork or financials, we work with the client to handle all incompleteness notices, requests for reconsideration, re-reviews, appeals, and denial notices. Clients may always feel free to contact us regarding the status of their claim, and know that we notify them immediately when we have any deadlines pending.
How do I begin the process of filing my claim?
There is only a short time remaining to file all claims to the Deepwater Horizon Settlement, the deadline being April 22, 2014. Call us today for a free claim assessment. If you have your preliminary documents in order, we may be able to quickly run a calculation to determine your eligibility. Call 1-800-BP-CLAIM or complete the BP Settlement form on the right and someone contact you shortly thereafter.
Author: W.C. Bohack