Tag Archives: BP Settlement Appeals
There is a new disclaimer that has appeared on the DeepWater Horizon Website
In layman’s terms this disclaimer states that the deadline to file all Seafood Compensation claims was January 22, 2013 BUT that if you have a Seafood Compensation claim that has not yet been submitted that you may still file it at this time and it will be reviewed on a case by case basis. There are no guarantees any of these claims will be accepted but claimants will be notified on the outcome of the timeliness review.
We have spoken to Attorneys and other Processors about this and most will NOT be taking these claims on, because of the fact that there are no guarantees they will be accepted by the BP Settlement Fund.
We have spoken to our Network partners and WE WILL BE accepting these claims. Why? Because we feel they deserve every opportunity to get paid. As someone affected by this tragic event very directly, we want to stress that you are the top priority and we will try to help you regardless of the outcome.
If you did not meet the initial deadline, or you know someone who has a claim, but missed the deadline, please forward this to them.
We can Also Assist you with the Following BP Claims:
- Business Economic Loss Claims
- Medical Claims
- Claims that need to be Updated from the GCCF
- Claims that have been Appealed
- Claims that need to be Appealed
- Property Damage Claims
- Individual Claims
- Failed Business Claims
- Claims that are Stalled or have Incomplete Notices from the DeeepWater Horizon Settlement
- Claims that have been Denied from the BP Settlement or the GCCF
Menhaden Fishing Significantly Down
Key figures in the Menhaden Fishing Industry have stated that the fishery is suffering. According to very credible reports given to us at BPClaims.org, the fishery is running around 20%-40% of what it was before the Gulf Oil Spill. This is eerily reminiscent of what happened to the Herring after the Valdez Spill. The fishery seemed stable for 3 years after that spill, and then collapsed. The sad fact is this environmental aftermath is still unfolding. The oil sitting on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico may continue to cause unforeseen problems for years to come.
DeepWater Horizon Settlement Issues
A vast amount of claimants who contact us do so because they continue to receive incompleteness notices on their case. There are many reasons for these. Deepwater Horizon many times may ask for documentation that you have already submitted. We are not hearing this just from unrepresented individuals and businesses, but also from Attorneys, Processors, and CPA Firms. Professionals in this Industry are unhappy, and making it known to the leadership of the BP Settlement and their liaisons. We sa this in the beginning of the BP Settlement, but have not seen this for some time.
Quite often instead of receiving an incompleteness notice, we receive a phone call from Postlethwaite & Netterville, this is the accounting group that the Deepwater Horizon Leadership has brought in, and they have done an excellent job. We have not had any issues with Postlethwaite & Netterville, when it comes to being asked for documentation that was already submitted. As I understand it from the people I have talked to, Brown Greer was in charge of those particular claims.
Let’s all remember that Ken Feinberg is the one who hired Brown Greer. Who hired Ken Feinberg? By now we know he was not Independent as he originally advertised; he was bought and paid for by BP. Before anyone could tell what the full extent of damage from the spill would be, Feinberg initially promised to begin compensating the affected with Interim Payments. Instead, he offered Quick Pays and many people had no choice but to take a small amount of money and waive their right to sue BP in the future. Many had lost everything they had and were desperate to put food on the table for their families. Over 200,000 Individuals and Businesses took Quick Pays and many of those were given much less than what they should have rightfully received.
For the record, The Claims Administrator inherited Brown Greer. As I understand it, and I could be wrong, their continued involvement was part of the Settlement Agreement, and BP wanted them in play.
To the leadership’s credit, they foresaw issues from the beginning of the Settlement process and got the accounting firm Postlethwaite & Netterville involved. We deal with P&N quite often when processing your claims and have found them to be most helpful.
GCCF Claims Need to be Updated
Think about this, just under a Million Claims were at the GCCF when they transitioned over to the DeepWater Horizon Settlement. We were told that the information from the GCCF would go right over to the NEW and Improved BP Settlement. It did, but what many people don’t understand is that they still need to update that information to meet the terms of the Settlement. This has been seriously frustrating to many of you who think your claim is still Live at the DeepWater Horizon Settlement. In fact, it is not. Your claim will need to be updated to meet the guidelines of Deepwater Horizon Settlement. The only advantage is that much of your documentation is digitally available, which may make it easier to prepare the claim.
BP`s 5th Circuit Appeal
BP is rumored to have asked Prime Minister David Cameron to intervene on their behalf, and I am sure they have, even though they deny it. Most Attorneys that I speak to don’t think there will be ANY changes when this case gets to the 5th Circuit, but my gut tells me otherwise. In looking at past decisions of the 5th Circuit, they have no problem reversing decisions from the lower courts. If you read the writing on the wall, BP is posturing that this settlement could mean the end of them, and they are appealing to the U.K. leadership to ensure that does not happen. If only they spent this much time and energy harboring a corporate culture that did not put money before safety. It has been proven multiple times they do not. BP has a history of putting money before safety.
If BP gets their way in the 5th Circuit, and eliminates multiple categories within the construction, agriculture, marketing/advertising, and professional fields, these industries will become excluded. They will have in essence, rewritten the BP Settlement. If that is to be the case, may I suggest that since the settlement is being rewritten; let’s allow ALL of the people that took Quick Pays to come back into play. If BP truly wants to make things right, as they are stating in their commercials, let’s bring back the Quick Pays and allow them to be reconsidered since they were preyed upon by Feinberg anyway.
Besides the explosion and the environmental catastrophe that followed, Quick Pays are perhaps the most devastating aspect of this event. Good people, mostly those that made their living for generations from the Gulf were the hardest hit. Many had little education and had no idea what they were signing. Feinberg came out with the program around Christmas 2010, but it would not hit high gear until April 2011, one year after the spill.
By that time homes were in foreclosure, boats were being repossessed, and people were desperate for money. The 5k or 25k payments were nothing short of extortion. If BP is going to have the ability to rewrite the settlement, let’s bring Quick Pays back to the table as well. If they’re going to take away, they should give something back in return. Since BP is now stating that the groups that they are trying to exclude were not injured by the Gulf Oil Spill, let’s make sure they help the people that were, and truly make things right, just like their commercials say.
We have the BEST PROCESSORS in the country working on your claims. We handle many of them in house, but also work with several other groups that have an extensive track record of getting claims paid. We handle claims for 15%-25%, there are no hidden fees and we don`t get paid until you do.
Appeals are becoming more and more a part of the DeepWater Horizon Settlement. This is what we have seen, if your Appeal is prepared correctly, and you have the information to support the appeal, the DeepWater Horizon Settlement appeals system spearheaded by David Duval will compensate you what you are owed. NAICS codes have a lot of weight in this equation, but often they are incorrect. Often we are finding that the CPA`s a business used to file their taxes used the incorrect code. There are many variables when it comes to the appeals process, if you need assistance we have a team that specializes in appeals.
Judge Barbier stuck to his guns today and dismissed BP`s objections to how the Claims Administrator ( Pat Juneau ) was administering the BP Settlement process. If you follow our blog this is exactly what we had predicted.
BP is expected to appeal to the 5th circuit, where once again they will most likely not find any relief, why, because they signed the BP Settlement, and they will not be allowed to rewrite it.
Pat Juneau is doing an excellent job administering it, and everyone knows BP is just out to save money.
BP was trying to change the Settlement so they did not have to pay people in the following Industries.
- Construction Industry
- Agriculture Industry
- Professionals such as Lawyers, CPA`s, and Doctors
- and more, its a long list, etc., etc., etc.
The BP Settlement is what it is, consider it etched in stone, and if you meet the terms of the Settlement you will get paid.
Judge Barbier also commented on BP suing Pat Juneau for doing his job today. He said, “As a matter of law, how can a claims administrator be in breach of his contract if all he’s doing is applying it as he believes it should be applied, and now as ordered by the court?” Barbier asked. “How can that possibly be a breach of contract.”
We applaud the Judge for sticking up for the people and the Claims Administrator today.
Incomplete BP Claims
The biggest issue many have had is presenting a proper BP Claims package to the DeepWater Horizon Settlement Fund. This results in the majority of incompletes.
There have been other issues that we hear about on our facebook page of people getting incompletes for information that is already in the claim package, we heard of that more frequently about 6 months back, but evidently there still may be some issues, however we hear about this far less frequently now.
Some of this has been learning curve issues for those of us in the processing business, but after getting a number of successful claims through, we pretty well have this down to a science.
What people who handle their own BP Claims fail to realize is that when you handle literally hundreds or thousands of claims, as we and our strategic partners do. We build relationships with the people processing the claims, we have Liaisons CPA`s, and processors, that all work within the DeepWater Horizon Settlement infrastructure, and quite often instead of getting Incomplete notices we get a phone call or an email, letting us know what we have to adress. This saves time, and frustration.
Liens and Lawyers
The Judge also admonished a few attorneys today for putting liens on BP Settlement Claims. We have been hearing a lot about this recently. If an Attorney has put a lot of time into a file, and the person decided to go elsewhere, the Attorney may elect to put a lien on the file. That is understandable, what is not understandable is when you may have engaged them but never gave them any information and they try to put a lien on your file for 25%. It gets even crazier when the client claims he never even engaged the Attorney, but the Attorney is still putting a lien on their file, and that has happened.
AR1`s help clients move from one firm to another
There is an apparatus in the DeepWater Horizon Settlement that deals with the lien issues, we will probably see this come into play more often in the near future. There is also a form known as an AR1 that allows clients to move from one attorney to another, or from an Attorney to a processor, or vice versa. Ar1`s have made moving claimants from one firm to another much easier.
Our BP Settlement Team
We have compiled the best talent for filing BP Settlement Claims in the Country, we have:
- Large Loss specialists that work on large corporate claims
- we have Business Claims specialists
- Individual Claims experts
- and a group specializing in Medical Claims that will get qualified clients to a Doctor
- BP Appeal Attorneys ( read below)
We also have Attorneys based in New Orleans that are specialists in handling BP Appeals, BP Settlement Appeals are on the upswing, and having a great group of Attorneys specializing in this, is a new and needed part of our Network.
As always we will help you with your BP Settlement and Beyond.
Judge Barbier Approves the BP Settlement
If you follow the doomsday theorists, 12/21/12 was suppose to be the end of the world, well, not really, it was the first day of the official BP Settlement. Any connection, probably not, but Judge Barbier did lay a compelling and substantive case as to why The DeepWater Horizon Settlement should move forward. You can read it for yourself here.
There are issues with the settlement, but the fact of the matter is we all just want to see people and businesses get paid, and this is what we have to work with. There was a lot of interesting information in the 125 page document. Most compelling was the Judges rebuttals of the numerous objections raised. The Judge provided his thoughts in great detail as to why he thought certain objections did not have merit, or were basically outweighed for numerous reasons, citing a variety of case law.
I still believe there are issues with the Customer Mix Test and NAICS codes, but much of that can be handled with an Appeal, and we will all see how those Appeals are handled. If David Duval who heads up the BP Settlements Appeals division can get adequate compensation for the BP Settlement Claims that deserve it, and if he is given some latitude in correcting NAICS codes and other assorted anomalies, then I think the BP Settlement is a strong substitute for litigation. We will see how this aspect of the process unfolds, and how much leeway he and his Team are given. There is a lot riding on this aspect of the DeepWater Horizon Settlement Structure.
Seafood Compensation Program (You have 30 Days)
Under the terms of the BP Settlement, people that are taking part of the Seafood Compensation Program only have 30 Days after the Judges approval to present their claim to the DeepWater Horizon Settlement Fund for Approval. That means the clock is ticking and if you haven`t filed yet, you need to.
BP Settlement Numbers
91,000 people had so far filed with DeepWater Horizon Settlement Fund. They expect that number to hit over 1,000,000, hopefully many more will come to the table now that the Judge has formally approved the BP Settlement.
Excluded Claims Have Until January 19th to be Presented to OPA
If you were excluded from the BP Settlement you must have your claim filed by January 19th. That means you need to act now, to protect your Rights. We have people that can Help You.
These types of businesses and their employees that are for the most part Excluded from the Settlement.
- Most Casino Type Institutions;
- Most Fund, Trust, and Banking Entities;
- Most Defense Contractors;
- Most Oil & Gas Industry Entities;
- Most Insurance Companies;
- Bodily Injury Claims;
- BP Shareholder Suits;
- Moratorium Loss Claims;
- Claims relating to Menhaden (or “pogy”) fishing, selling, processing, and harvesting;
Claims for Damages by Companies or Individuals for employment in the Financial, Insurance, Banking, Gaming, Oil & Gas, Defense Contractor industries, and Real Estate Development, as well as Entities selling or BP-branded fuel.
GCCF Denials and Stalled Claims
If you had filed with the GCCF and been denied or been stalled, there is still hope for your claim under the BP Settlement. For all of its flaws, and it still has a few, in this writers opinion it is a whole lot better then what the GCCF was under Mr. Feinberg. It is transparent, it has a clear methodology, and it is not arbitrary. The folks that run the DeepWater Horizon Settlement want to pay you, and many claims that were shunned by the GCCF are welcomed under the terms of the BP Settlement.
Multiple Store Locations
We have seen a tremendous growth in Companies with multiple stores, in multiple locations, making BP Settlement Claims with us as of late. These claims have a different parameters to meet, as they are often located in a number of different Settlement Zones, often with a Headquarters that is not located in any of the Settlement Zones. We have seen an influx of Real Estate Companies, Restaurants, and assorted other Franchises ask us for assistance, we have a separate Division specializing in assisting these entities.
We have had great success in getting VOO Claims through the system. We have even gotten them through after BP has appealed them. We have heard that BP is appealing them at a more frequent rate, and we can help you, we have gotten some through in as little as 2 weeks.
What will we See Next
Now this part is pure conjecture mixed with some facts, I am not an Attorney, but we are pretty involved in all of this, and I think we have a good read, and some inside track to what will happen next.
- The DeepWater Horizon Settlement Fund will pick up speed processing claims.
- More Staff will be hired to necessitate the above.
- More Individuals will begin to see their claims get Paid.
- More Claimants will come to the Table.
- Some Latitude will be given to the Appeals Division for NAICS code issues
The BPClaims.org Network
I am so proud of all of the people that make up our Internal Staff, I have never met a group of people that really put the Claimants welfare at such a high paramount. It is all working as intended, and this could not be done without your continued vigilance on the claimants behalf, and the compassion that you all have displayed over the last couple of years. As we have begun to add more staff, and create different Divisions, I am sure this trend will continue.
Partners within the Network have all displayed similar characteristics, and have been working 7 days a week to meet the Claimants needs.
We process your BP Settlement Claims for as little as 15% without using Attorneys, and slightly more if they are needed.
Awaiting on Judge Barbier`s Approval
The BP Settlement has been waiting for the final approval from Judge Barbier, many interested parties in the BP Settlement are simply baffled as to why the Judge has not yet approved the BP Settlement.
It was expected that the Settlement would meet with quick approval and BP had been pushing for it. Most industry experts had thought that it would be left pretty much untouched by the Judge, and that he would sign of on it quickly.
I think that this is actually good news for people, the Judge is taking his time, this is a major step forward, and there are still pieces that are broken, and need to be fixed.
A major issues with the BP Settlement
On the front burner these days is the NAICS system that they use to figure out what kind of businesses meet the types of criteria within the DeepWater Horizon Settlement.
For example: We have recently represented a well known Spa on Siesta Key. This spa caters to many of the tourists that visit Siesta Key from across the nation. Siesta Key is a well known tourist destination and was designated with the Best Beach in America by Doctor Beach.
The NAICS code for this spa designated as non tourist. That meant instead of having a multiplier of 2.5 for their 2010 losses due to the spill, they were given a a multiplier of .25%.
This left the owner of the store frustrated and us gearing up for an appeal. We are very thankful that we believe the owner, who kept records of the majority of her guests will prevail.
We have a 100% success rate in appealing DeepWater Horizon Settlement that we felt had the grounds to appeal.
The issue here is many business do not keep these records, and credit card companies have been less then friendly in helping businesses prove their client base due to privacy issues.
The Customer Mix Test
The Customer Mix Test was meant to cure these issues but it has turned out to be about impossible without the assistance of the major credit card companies. I am sure that BP knew all of this when they structured the settlement. Instead of being a good work around for companies trying to prove their losses, it is more of a MAJOR BLOCKADE.
For many zone D claimants and possibly some in zone C they may need causation documents that:
Identify the customers residences and the amount of revenue generated from their purchases. This is impossible without the credit card companies assistance.
A decline of 10% in the share of total revenue generated by non local customers over a period of three consecutive months or more from May-December 2010 as compared to the same three or more consecutive months in 2009. You need to know how many of the business customers resided more than 60 miles from the business and the amount of revenue generated from their purchases.
A decline of 10% in the share of total revenue generated by customers located in gulf coast areas over a period of three consecutive months or more from May to December 2010 as compared to 2009. They need to know how many of the customers resided on the Gulf Coast and the amount of revenue generated from their purchases.
So in simple terms a credit card receipt showing purchases amount and city and state or zip code would be sufficient. The difficulty has been getting the credit card processing companies to cooperate due to the privacy issues mentioned above.
BP Claims Help
We have the Largest Network of BP Claims Professionals on the Planet, Feel Free to call us at 1-800-BP-CLAIM for Assistance. If you would like to start a claim with us click here. START CLAIM NOW
BPClaims.org Team (1) BP (0)
Recently, we got an Appeal from BP for one of our clients claims. That`s right BP appealed a Settlement Claim that was originally approved by the Settlement Fund. Needles to say our client was not happy, and nor were we.
We went through the process on the behalf of the client, it was arduous, but in the end we prevailed. I am very proud of our Team and the efforts they made on behalf of this client.
It looks as though BP has begun to employ this strategy more often, if you need help with an Appeal, please let us know.
Banner Week for Getting BP Settlement Claims Paid.
Last week was a big week for getting claims paid for us, we had over 15 BP Claims paid. This has been a long time coming, but well worth the wait. The claims ranged from Business Claims in the Keys to VOO Claims in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi; they came in from a few months to a few weeks ago. It seems the people that are running the DeepWater Horizon Settlement are getting into a higher gear.
Attorneys are gearing up for OPA Presentment
We are hearing that many attorneys are not taking any new claims in at this time because they are devoting their assets/people to OPA presentment. Claims that are being presented to OPA, (opt out claims and excluded claims), must be presented by January 20th, 2013.
This basically means it is crunch time for the firms that have caseloads of OPA claims that need to be re-presented and recalculated. If you have a claim that meets this criteria they need to be addressed sooner then later.
Old GCCF Claims
What many people do not realize, is that claims under the old GCCF need to be updated to fit into the Settlement. If you have a claim that has yet to be updated we will see what we can do to help you. There are hundreds of thousands of claims that still need to be updated.
BP Business Claims
Under the terms of the BP Settlement many Businesses that did not know they qualified under the old GCCF rules, do qualify under the DeepWater Horizon Settlement. If you think your Business may qualify under the terms of the new settlement, or just have a few questions, please call 1-800-BP-CLAIM.
We have had many business owners send us their P n L`s to see if they qualify, we have no problem checking first to see if your business qualifies before submitting to the Fund.
DeepWater Horizon Settlement Network
We can Help you with your DeepWater Horizon Settlement Claims starting at just 15%. Attorneys within the network charge from 20-25% to help you with you DeepWater Horizon Settlement Claims. If you have claims that are incomplete or need assistance or are going through the appeals process, members of our network charge as little as 10% to help you get your Claims through. We realize that different clients have different levels of need, and we will adjust our rates accordingly.