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BP Settlement Opt Out and more Thoughts

BP Settlement Opt Out Date is Drawing Near

DeepWater Horizon SettlementNow let me state this at the outset, I am not an Attorney but we now have one who is independently working with us at BPClaims.org.  What I am about to say should in no way be construed as legal advice, it is my opinion, and my thoughts.

That said and to put it as simply as possible: if your claim does not fit into the framework of the Deep Water Horizon Settlement, you may want to seriously consider opting out.  But, if you can prove your losses, and have ALL the paperwork to support your claim you may want to stay within the framework DeepWater Horizon Settlement.

If you have a medical claim and are seriously sick, you may want to opt out of the Settlement.

If you have an economic claim and you have gaps in your paperwork or other issues, opting out should be very much on the table.

The Settlement fund wants to pay you, but only if you can provide all of the documentation that they require.  Their hands are tied, all they do is administer the DeepWater Horizon Settlement, which was created by BP and the Plaintiff Steering Committee and overseen by Judge Barbier.  The Settlement is not open for interpretation; it is what it is, and it is just beginning to pay people.

Many Attorneys want you to Opt Out, this is to protect your rights in most cases, though there have been reports that some are doing it for self gain, and higher fees down the road.

We have seen the DeepWater Horizon Settlement Fund make serious strides in processing claims, and they are beginning to pay those claims. I met with some of the leadership of the claims process myself recently and they have a high degree of integrity and take this very personally. Most of them are from different areas of Louisiana and have family and friends that were deeply injured by the BP Oil Spill. Their Legacies and Heritage are on the line.

Who is in the DeepWater Horizon Settlement

As I understand it, if you are in any of the Settlement Zones, you are automatically in the Class and if you don`t want to be in the Settlement you will need to Opt Out. These zones include the whole states of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, parts of Texas ,and the coastal counties along the Gulf and the Keys of Florida.

How do you Opt Out of the DeepWater Horizon Settlement

Your Attorney can NOT do this for you.

It is really quite simple, you write a letter. Here is what you need to to do, it must be postmarked by November 1 st 2012.

Here is an example of an Opt Out letter.

I John Doe, 123 Main Street, Destin,  Florida. I wish to be excluded from the Economic Class or Medical Class Settlement.

Sincerely

Signature

John Doe

Write one letter for each one of your claims, if it is a business I would write both an individual letter and business letter and include your E.I.N. or your social security number. If you have a medical claim and an economic claim I would write a letter for each of my Claims.

Address the Letter to: For Economic Opt Out

Deepwater Horizon Court Supervised Settlement Program
Exclusions Department
P.O. Box 222
Hammond, LA 70404-0222

To validly exclude yourself from the Economic Class, you must submit a written request stating “I wish to be excluded from the Economic Class.” The request must include your printed name, address and phone number and must be postmarked no later than November 1, 2012. The written request must be signed by the Natural Person or Entity seeking to exclude himself, herself or itself from the Economic Class, even if they are represented by an attorney. Electronic signatures will not be accepted.

 

For The Medical Settlement
Deepwater Horizon Medical Benefits Settlement Opt Outs
935 Gravier Street, Suite 1400
New Orleans, LA 70112
To Opt Out of (exclude yourself from) the Medical Class, you must mail in a written request stating “I wish to exclude myself from the Medical Class.” Your written request must also include your full name, address, phone number, date of birth, and a copy of your driver’s license or other government-issued identification. You must sign your written request.

Whats Next if you Opt Out of the DeepWater Horizon Settlement

You will need to prepare a claim for O.P.A. presentment, this is also called the BP Claims Program and it is administered by BP. You do not need an Attorney to do this. You will need an Attorney if you don`t get what you want from BP, and decide to litigate. You have to go through the O.P.A. process before you can litigate. My issues with this are these:

  1. The BP Claims Program is run by BP, we`ll see how they do; the jury is still out.
  2. Attorneys and other Processors will put their best claims first into the process, individuals will be left behind again.
  3. The Settlement is fair if you can prove your losses.
  4. There are too many people capitalizing on peoples’ fear.
  5. I don`t think people should have to go through O.P.A. before the choose to litigate.

Individual Claims that have issues really need to think about Opting Out at this point, it is my opinion that they may be best served down the line when the Attorneys start putting them in Classes. I would also expect that many Attorneys will drop many Individual Claims as they will be pressed for time to put together these claims by the January 20th deadline.

So what is Happening Now with the BP Settlement

  • We have gotten clients through our network literally millions in the last few weeks
  • Restaurants have received 300k – 700k
  • Business Claims of all sorts have received from 20k-800k
  • A Property Owner with Oil on their Property was offered over 30 Million; that was one claim.

After the Settlement is ratified on November 8th at the fairness hearing the DeepWater Horizon Settlement will become more streamlined. There will be less claims in their que as many of the ones with issues will choose to opt out. There will be less of a need for an Attorney as you will either fit or not into the Settlement. There is little room for interpretation.

I see more of a role for Attorneys during O.P.A. presentment as certain Attorneys do have reputations for holding BP accountable, and they may decide to form some sort of class down the road, before litigation. It is difficult to predict exactly what tact they will take with BP. In the end, if they choose to litigate I do expect Claims to be broken down by Class and the different cases will be paid by Merit and extent of loss, but they will be settled in groups. I do not expect to see many cases to reach the Court House.

Recent News: BP pressures Judge to approve DeepWater Horizon Settlement Process

Recently it was reported that BP was trying to pressure Judge Barbier into approving the DeepWater Horizon Settlement. I think they are doing this because of the unexpectedly low turnout of BP Claims entering the Settlement process, and they think they are going to get off light. When BP actually pushes their own agenda, we should all pay special attention.

My opinion is that Judge Barbier is the wrong person to push, and at some point I would expect him to push back. There is no doubt that BP wants to put this behind them but if I were them I would tread lightly.

Solutions

When I first started working in this field, we created a site that was designed to get people aid that were victims of the Oil Spill, it was very successful and Catholic Charities stepped in and helped many of the people that we referred to them. Many of these people were exceptionally sick or were on the verge of loosing it all. Later I was told to follow the Claims process, we then created BPClaims.org. We would enroll Attorneys, Claims Adjusters, Accounting Groups, and other Web Designers to assist us in making BP pay. It was a big job and we knew we needed help. I am sad to say some were more interested in dollars then they were in helping people  and they cherry picked clients. They were cut from the Network.

For me it has always been about the people and their businesses, and it always will be.

We have the LARGEST NETWORK of BP Claims Professionals on the Planet.

We can Help you if you decide to Opt Out.

They ALL Specialize in different types of Claims. We now can process your claims in house for as little as 15%, If your claim is complex or a high dollar claim, we have the support of one of the Nations Largest Accounting Firms. They are currently processing more then 500 Million Dollars worth of Claims.

There are Attorneys within the network that specialize in Claims that were not covered in the Settlement such as Casino Workers, Insurance Companies, Moratorium Claims, and Developer Claims just to name a few. We are not talking about one firm here, we are talking about 10 different firms. Different Claims are handled best by Firms that specialize in different types of claims. Their fees range from 20%-25% at this time, but expect those fees to rise if they have to move towards litigation.

Recently we have brought in an Independent Attorney to help you; he has volunteered to assist people decide whether or not you need to Opt Out or stay in the DeepWater Horizon Settlement. You can reach him at 1-800-BP-CLAIM.

The next few days are critical, if you need assistance just call or fill out the form to the right. We will be working 18 hour days, we are here for you. We have been here from the beginning we will be here to the End.

 

 

BP Claims Settlement a Reality Check

BP Settlement and How We got Here

BP Settlement  The days are coming to a close when you will have to decide whether you are in or out of the BP Settlement. It’s actually very sad that some of you will have to wait years to ever see a penny from BP.

They deployed their strategy long ago through Feinberg, when he made certain that many of your claims would never see the light of day; through the delay, deny, and defend tactics employed by unscrupulous insurance companies.  When he replaced World-renowned Claims Adjusting Companies with Law Firms with no experience in this sort of matter, to Process your claims, we all got screwed.

I am not saying that this was intentional on his part or their part, but when you look at a typical textbook play of how to thwart payments to claimants after natural disasters, major manufacturing mishaps, and pharmaceutical negligence you can now add the BP Oil Spill to the list.

The Settlement

If the BP Settlement survives, and I am betting it will, certain businesses that only show losses in 2010, but not 2011 will be the major winners. Individuals and businesses without a clear-cut or well-documented cases will simply have to wait. People who made a living from the Gulf will be compensated in some cases but most will be lost for years in the system. There needs to be some wiggle room, so that more people/businesses can fit into the Settlement framework.

And, we needed a better sample set of claims that would get PAID under the Settlement, but I am afraid a certain Processor made sure that would not happen, and used incompetence as the mechanism; very legal, very smart, and very shameful.

This trap was set a long time ago when Obama met with BP and struck the 20 Billion Dollar Deal. When Obama hired Mr. Feinberg he allowed BP to pay him and let him play by their rules.

Obama should have seen this coming and protected us, but he let BP dictate everything, from clean up to Corexit, from payouts to processing, it was never in our hands, it was always in BP’s.

We have seen a wave of offers come through lately, and have been promised payments for them soon, but we have seen nothing in the mail and, the clock is ticking. It is difficult for many to stay in the settlement if your claim is in limbo, and before November 1, 2012, you have to make a decision to either stay,  and find out you may not qualify, and get nothing, or go, and enter a third claims program actually run by BP, before you can even litigate.

The Settlement needs more time, the people need more time, the process needs more time. It is in my humble opinion, that the deficiencies of the BP Settlement have just begun to be addressed, and there is a great framework to work within here, but we need to see some fruit, we need to see how claims will be treated. There is just to much uncertainty, and that is leading to Fear, and to many people are capitalizing on that,

What Happens Next OPA, Opt Out`s, and Beyond

With the Opt-Out date looming, many of you will be told by Attorneys that you will need to Opt-Out now and sign with them immediately for the ‘Oil Pollution Act’ (OPA) presentment and maybe we can get you paid under OPA. You do NOT need an Attorney for OPA Presentment.

At this time, the Attorneys/Individuals/Consultants will need to have your basic information, and approximate loss figures into OPA, in by January 20th, 2012, so they can be formally presented by April 20th, 2013.

This will be the THIRD Claims process that many of you will be going through. Yes, the third claims process; this is how they wear people down.

Let me be clear hear, if you choose to Opt-Out you do not need to immediately sign up with an Attorney, if want help finding the best Attorneys that handle your type or types of cases, we can help you there, and we will.

In all Actuality you don`t even need an Attorney, not just yet, but be ready.

Do Not Opt Out Just Yet.

The leadership of the Settlement has done their best to get the system set up, and your claims processed as quickly as they could.

The reality is the odds were stacked against them from the beginning, and it took them too long to figure it out. Using the same processors that the GCCF used was ludicrous, and they were ordered to do so. People in high positions, based on past relationships trusted them, they were deceived.

Remember who hired them and fired the people that actually knew how to process these claims, yep, good old Mr. Feinberg. BP paid Mr Feinberg, and paid him well.

It gets better, or actually worse, under OPA presentment your claims will go to The BP Claims Program based out of Houston Texas.

The BP Claims Program is run by guess who, and administered by guess who, BP, it`s like taking the lambs to slaughter and guess who are the lambs?

That`s Right BP will be in-charge of paying your OPA Claim, so who in their right mind would be in rush to put their claim in their hands?  Not Me.

Choices

It is my humble opinion and I am not an Attorney, that you can either be lead to slaughter or choose to fight; call your congressmen, your senators, and vote in the upcoming election.

Many of you on our Facebook page have talked about Marching, I suggest New Orleans, It`s all up to you.

Isn’t that how we do things here in America, so if your as fired up as I am, jump onto our Facebook page and lets start talking about the details.

I have been told that Judge Barbier and Mr. Juneau are very solid Southern Men.  Gentlemen we have people dying out there, not just economically, but from the use of Corexit 9500.  I was told last week that 3 out of 4 boys died from one family in Plaquemines Parrish from Liver Cancer.  These boys were children.

Guys that worked the VOO are dropping like flies.  We hear these stories on a daily basis and nobody is doing a darn thing about it.

BP is Negotiating with the Department of Justice

As I am write this, BP and the Federal Government are negotiating another BP Settlement with the DOJ that is suppose to bring as much as 80% of that revenue back to the Gulf States under the Restore Act. The number is in the Billions; speculation is between $15B-$21B  May I suggest the feds step in and help renegotiate the Settlement that BP and the PSC came up with, and specifically give Mr Juneau and Judge Barbier some latitude and more power to handle this their way, and not have to ask BP or the PSC for permission. Things need to get done here!!!

It`s just a thought. If there was ever time to hold BP`s feet to the fire and get something done for the people I think now might be a real good time.

And One more Thing

The Macondo Well is still leaking, there is speculation from the Coast Guard and other sources it is an old riser pipe, well it`s been leaking for a really long time now.

The Oil was tested, and it is Macondo Oil and it is fresh oil, not mixed with the sludge you would find in a riser pipe, and does it not make this whole darn process null and void, under OPA, because you can`t settle a catastrophe while it is still happening. At least find out for sure where the oil is coming from first. Can anyone say R.O.V, c`mon now.

There is a six mile, and some days much bigger, Oil Stream coming  from the Macondo Well.  It sounds like the BP Oil Spill is STILL HAPPENING.

We would never be having this conversation had Feinberg done his Job, and actually paid Interim Payments.

 

We at BPClaims.org will do whatever we can do to Help You.

We have Never and will Never put Profit in front of People.

We have the most extensive network of Claims Processors and Attorneys throughout the Gulf Coast. They charge 15-25%.

We care and it shows, and we are going to call it like we see it, ’til everybody is made as whole as they can be.  I mean everybody.

God Bless…B

 

 

 

1-800-BP-CLAIM DeepWater Horizon Settlement Help

DeepWater Horizon Settlement Overview

deepwater horizon settlementIt has been a week since the DeepWater Horizon Settlement has officially begun. What can we say except we told you this was going to be a mess, and it is.

There are over Forty different claims forms, many of you have multiple claims, and are finding the mountain of data needed overwhelming.

Not to worry, we have been hard at work, in an effort to make this easier for you.

We have created Alliances with different Law Firms, Adjusters and Properly Staffed Consultant Groups all with different areas of expertise.

The DeepWater Horizon Settlement should be handled by professionals that have a very high degree of competency with DeepWater Horizon Settlement Claims.

They Specialize in:

  • Business Claims
  • Denied BP Claims and Claims that are Stalled
  • Medical Claims
  • Property Claims
  • VOO Claims
  • Seafood Compensation Claims
  • Individual Economic Loss Claims

We will be helping them put together the paperwork and documentation for your DeepWater Horizon Settlement Claims. Most of you will have one point of initial contact to assemble your Claim, and that will be the team at BPClaims.org,  we are available from 9-5 p.m. everyday.

Our staff has extensive knowledge of assembling BP Claims. Team members charge from 7.5% for large loss claims to 33.3% for Medical Claims that include a medical screening. Most economic claims run between 15-20%.

DeepWater Horizon Settlement  Pyramid

The DeepWater Horizon Settlement is just another mechanism to glean out valid BP Claims and get them paid. Think about the BP claims process like a Pyramid.

This is how the BP Claims Pyramid Works, we know this because it is based on a model that Insurance companies  have used for years.

  • They will first get the people that are most desperate to cash out first, here they used Quick Pays over 200,000 people and Businesses took these.
  • They will work up the Pyramid and take out the people and Businesses that have solid claims but are ready to settle hence the DeepWater Horizon Settlement Program, most of these will be small to midsize claims.
  • Expect a new mechanism here that has yet to be identified, that will take out the larger claims.
  • Finally some claims will move into the Litigation phase but most will be settled before they reach court.

This is how Settlements like this have moved forward for years don`t expect the Deepwater Horizon Settlement to be much different. Those who can hang in there the longest will reap the largest rewards.

DeepWater Horizon Settlement News

Lets remember they are just getting this ramped up, but the overall consensus is that this settlement will not last. There will be too many people opting out, too many law firms not opting their case loads in, and if you follow the pyramid example, the DeepWater Horizon Settlement is just one more mechanism to get claims settled.

The big question is will they settle out the larger claims, if they do, the DeepWater Horizon Settlement has a chance of making it, if they wait these claims out, to when the deadlines come up, it will most likely fail.

As it stands now, we advocate that you at least have all of your Claims well documented, and if you have not filed a claim, consider running it through the BP Claims Program that also just opened up. Yes there are now 2 separate funds to get compensated from. There is the DeepWater Horizon Settlement Fund and The BP Claims Program run by BP.

We can Help you with the New BP Claims Program and the DeepWater Horizon Settlement.

 

 

 

 

 

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