Tag Archives: BP Settlement
We Can Help You and this is How
We have had many calls requesting that we assist them in checking their bp claims status. Many of you have had issues trying to reach DeepWater or their Attorneys or Processors directly.
Please understand that we are unable to check claim status unless you are a client of one of the Attorneys or Processors we work with.
By no means are we soliciting other Firms Clients, but the fact is people need to know they have options.
If you are interested in signing up with one of our network attorneys, please download the engagement documents and the AR1 below, complete and sign and return to us by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax them to 941-951-6738.
If at anytime you wish to disengage with members of our Network you can, with no financial obligation.
After you download them, you should have three documents. You will find them at the bottom of this post.
1. Retainer Agreement
2. Statement of Client’s Rights
3. AR1 or Change of Representation Form from the Deepwater Settlement Program. When you complete the AR1, please complete Sections A, B and E if you want to change from your current attorney, and Sections A, D and E if you are currently representing yourself and you want to be represented by our attorney.
If you feel you need to change your Representation you can with the AR1 Form.
While you have completed and submitted these to us, please remember that this does NOT create an attorney-client relationship until the attorney reviews and signs these documents.
Fees As Low as 10%
Please note that this is a sliding scale contract. What this means is the % of your recovery, if any, will depend on the amount of work that needs to be done.
The fee % charge could be as low as 10%; if you still have work that needs to be done or notices that must be responded to, the fee % charge could be as high as 20%.
There is no way for us to know until you are signed up, and we can actually view your documents in the DHECC portal.
Even if you have received an FWA or HUB Investigation Notice, we can still take your claim. If you know you have provided honest and complete documentation to the Claims Administrator, then members of our Network are open to taking your case.
Our Network Attorneys and seasoned accountants, claims managers, and support staff can help shepherd your claim to the end.
We’ve been in this since the beginning, and we’ve had great success at getting people paid, because we know what the Claims Administrator requires when responding to Notices or other inquiries.
If you are tired of not having answers to your questions, this is your chance to have a responsive Team on your side.
We do what it takes to keep communication open with Clients and Reviewers, our team works extremely well together to fight for our clients rights.
Please note we are not handling medical claims.
BP Claims Forms To Download Below
All Economic Claims need to be in June 8th
The phone number for the Deep Water Horizon Settlement is 1-866-992-6174.
The New BP Claims word is REFILE
Has your your claim taken far longer then other people you know? Has an attorney or processor told you that they had to refile your claim, many don`t. As I am writing this I have just received several calls from claimants who after checking their claim status themselves, realized their claims were refiled without their knowledge.
To check your claim click here, you will need your claimant ID and the last four digits of your ein or social security number.
Why did this happen, usually because processors/attorneys did not respond in a timely manner to incomplete notices for your claims. For many BP Claims Processors, processing came to a halt by some, when BP stopped paying claims, the issue here is Deep Water never stopped processing the claims. So if your claim was filed several years ago, you may want to check for yourself, which we highly encourage. Many Processors quite frankly were starved out by BP`s intentional shutdown of payments.
What essentially happens is, your claims if they were refiled send you to the back of the line. If your processors/attorneys/cpa`s were not forthright enough to tell you that your claim has languished for so long by Claims Processors shutting down their processing due to a lack of financial resources, shame on them, but your not stuck with them. Also please keep in mind this is by no means a fast process, and many BP Claims have just simply languished.
You are NOT STUCK with your Claims Preparation Group.
If you are a Claims Preparation Group and that includes Attorneys, that needs help processing your claims call us, we will help you if we can.
We have a large network of very well funded Attorneys and other Processors that can assist you. I know BP starved many processsors out, and as far as I can tell some claims processors are still not seeing many claims paid.
On the other hand I am happy to say through our network and our own internal processing we have seen almost 10 million dollars in paid BP claims in the last coupe of months.
We are seeing lots of appeals, pretty much anything over 250k is getting appealed, but we are seeing them won. It usually tacks on another 3 months to process.
BP Claims News
New Home Builders BP Claims are seeing Better then expected returns, it was thought that 495 was going to impact these claims in a very negative manner but that has not been the case. Home Builders are walking away from the BP Claims process with some staggering amounts.
Deep Water on the processing side, has begun to have lots of issues with processing. We have seen this before around other deadlines, it is no surprise.
Here are some notes from Melody Scott about recent incidents regarding the processing of the claims we handle internally.
This is one of our very recent Internal memos.
Now advising that claims should be filed immediately and warning that the Deep Water system may overload or crash starting next week and this will not be an acceptable excuse for not being able to file a claim in a timely manner.
Now advising that their system resources are strained and upload times are greatly increased. Large documents must be broken up into smaller documents or they will not load.
BP Claims once forgotten are coming back to the table
We have been preaching this from the rooftops for a few posts now, there are many claims that NEVER entered the Deep Water Horizon Settlement from the GCCF. If you recall there were almost a million claims in the GCCF when it transitioned over to the Deep Water Horzion Settlement. When that occurred many people and business`s lost track of the necessary paperwork to transition their claim over, at the same time many never thought they had to do anything at all, and the claim would just naturally progress over there. They didn`t, and in our estimation we think that number is in the 100,000`s.
So over the last week we have been calling people that came in through our websites in 2010 and 2011, and what we are finding is that many people think they are filed but only have the old GCCF claim numbers and you got it, never transitioned over to the Deep Water Horizon Settlement.
Many had Attorneys and Processors that they never heard from again. I have heard one processor that dropped over 900 individual claims, when the transition over to Deep Water occurred.
BP`s playbook from day one has been Delay, Deny, and Defend, throw in a touch of greed and personal agendas by certain processors and attorneys, and the BP Claims process becomes even more muddled.
If you had a claim during the GCCF era and DID NOT take a Quick Pay, or a final offer, your paperwork is still in their database and very easy to revive, but time is clearly running out.
After all of the Damage BP has caused to Families and Businesses along our coast, I urge people to call the Deep Water Horizon Settlement Directly at 1-866-992-6174 and file if you can, or enlist the services of a Processor or Attorney. Have your financials in order and that includes your taxes and monthly pnl`s file your claim yourself if necessary, and preserve your rights, you can always move your claim over to an Attorney or a processor after the June 8th date.
If you need assistance we will be happy to do what we can. We have processors in our Network that handle Individual and Business Claims. We will be processing claims until the deadline, but you need to have your financials in order.
Just call 1-800-272-5246 or 1-800-BP-CLAIM, we are not related to the Deep Water Horizon Settlement, and we only process business claims at this point.
If all or a good part of your paperwork is in the portal, filing or moving a claim is easier then you think. It all depends upon the quality of the data you have given them.
Since 495 has come into play it is actually very advantageous to have the original data that many of you provided to the GCCF or early Deep Water Horizon Settlement. If your financial data is held in accounting software such as Quicken or Quick Books and has been since 2009 or before, or you have an in house bookkeeper or the same CPA, you may be able to get your information in on time, but NOW is the time.
On a personal note I would like to welcome Melody Scott to our Team. She worked at the Command Center during the spill and has been active working with BP Claimants for several years. She has assisted us in getting claims paid that many would have given up on. She has helped the claimants that we work with the last several months and her results have been outstanding. Her para legal experience, and outstanding overall knowledge of this event have made her invaluable to us and our clients.
Melody you are a Blessing and a welcome addition to our Team.
She is a proud member of the Florida Baseball Academy as well.
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
This post was sponsored by the best small, private school in Sarasota
This week a 1.1 billion settlement with Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. (HESI) was announced by the BP Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for the BP/Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Litigation. The HESI settlement is in part to Halliburton’s role in the incident being found criminally negligent; and in a further attempt to make things right for the Gulf Coast, the settlement was approved. Judge Carl A Barbier will oversee the settlement and continues to have an active role in the ongoing Deepwater Horizon Economic Settlement.
While we are not attorneys, we feel it is important to keep all affected claimants informed, and to ensure that they receive all of the information they are entitled to in a timely manner. As always, we continue to be advocates for victims of the BP oil disaster, we have been there since the beginning when the disaster happened in April of 2010.
If you were denied previously, you may still be eligible.
The HESI Settlement includes two classes:
1) Individuals and businesses that are class members in the existing Deepwater Horizon Economic Settlement. We were disappointed to see that businesses and individuals who received “quick pays” in the beginning were excluded. We continue to seek justice for those individuals. Many were unfairly coerced into accepting a settlement that may have solved some economic issues short term; but I have heard from many of those same individuals that the compensation they received was far less than what they should have received. Unfortunately, many of those people who received “quick pays” had to take the payments. The only other option was to lose their businesses or homes. Sadly for many, that happened anyway. We continue to seek justice for those victims.
2) Any “individual” business (including fishermen and charter boat operators), property owner, or governmental entity (excluding both state and federal government) that is proven to have Robins Dry Dock standing under General Maritime Law.
This particular settlement applies to commercial fishermen and charter boat operators that were in business at any time between April 20, 2009 and April 18, 2012; property owners, businesses and local governments that had oil touch their real estate or personal property any time between April 20, 2010 and April 18, 2012; and individuals that fished or hunted in specified areas and depended on their catch for subsistence, barter or trade” (CNBC, September 2, 2014).
Exclusions to the HESI Settlement:
(1) Any New Class Member who timely and properly elects to opt out of the New Class under the procedures established by the Court?.
(2) Defendants in MDL 2179, and individuals who are current employees of HESI, or who were employees of HESI during the Class Period.
(3) The Court, including any sitting judges on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, their law clerks serving during the pendency of MDL 2179, and any immediate family members of any such judge or law clerk.
(4) Governmental Organizations as defined in Section 5.
(5) Any Natural Person or Entity who or that made a claim to the GCCF, was paid, and executed a valid GCCF Release and Covenant Not to Sue, provided, however, that a GCCF Release and Covenant Not to Sue covering only Bodily Injury Claims shall not be the basis for exclusion of a Natural Person.
(6) BP Released Parties and individuals who were employees of BP Released Parties during the Class Period.
(7) Transocean and individuals who were employees of Transocean during the Class Period.
As part of the settlement process, an “Allocation Special Master” will be appointed. They will determine what portion will go to each class. The court will also develop a Distribution Model to determine the best way to distribute funds. We will provide further information as we receive it. For more information regarding the status of your existing claim or to file a new claim, please complete the form on the left hand side so that we can begin setting your claim up soon. We have been processing claims since the beginning of the disaster, and we are committed to seeing our claimants through to the end; ensuring those affected receive the compensation they deserve.
Feel free to contact us if you are unsure of your status or have any questions at 1-800-272-5246.
All claimants can check their status at any time on-line. It is not necessary to go through endless hold times or automated systems; you simply need your claimant ID and Social Security Number (or EIN number). Your attorney or Deepwater Horizon can provide you with that.
-Our clients can call us directly (941-343-8700) or (1-800-BPClaim)
-All other claimants can call DWH at 866-922-6174 to get your claimant ID or to check status
-Once you have your claimant ID #, go to deepwaterhorizoneconomicsettlement.com and follow instructions for “check my status”. You will need the last four digits of your EIN number or SS number (depending on what number you are filing with).
We feel it is important that claimants stay informed. Many claimants are frustrated with the amount of paperwork required and for the length of time the claims process takes.
BP has been rallying to gain support to gain a hearing with the Supreme Court in an effort to reduce their obligation to the Gulf Coast. They have supporters you would not expect: A Chamber of Commerce, a Watch Group out of Washington, even Ken Feinberg supported briefs that were written to dissuade the courts from hearing this case.
Mr. Feinberg was the former head of the GCCF. As most of us remember, the GCCF was such an abomination and hurt so many, which is why the Deepwater Horizon Economic Settlement was written in the first place.
The GCCF failed; Feinberg hired cronies who didn’t even know how to process claims! There were briefs written (and supported by these same individuals against the settlement) adding insult to injury for all victims of the spill; those who lost their jobs, homes, and businesses.
We at BPClaims.org continue to go to bat for all claimants. We will not stop until justice is served.
This post was brought to you by Sarasota Embroidery.
BP Business Claims Payments
Ever since BP put a hold on paying claims to businesses, gulf coast businesses that were affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill have been patiently waiting for the British Oil Giant to pay up and honor the terms of the Deepwater Economic Settlement Agreement.
Now, after months (years in some cases) of claimants providing documentation to prove their claim is legitimate, the rules have suddenly changed.
It’s just another chapter in the ongoing tug-of-war over who should be paid under the multibillion-dollar settlement for victims of the BP oil spill.
First, BP appealed the issue of causation; stating that businesses should have to prove that their losses were directly caused by the spill.
This became an issue after some “questionable claims” were submitted and unfortunately paid under the current Settlement Agreement which assumes causation based on where a business is located, the industry, and the pattern of revenue.
Admittedly, there were some claims were paid that had nothing to do with the oil spill. Sadly, the legitimate claimants on the gulf coast are suffering for the dishonesty of firms and claimants who submitted bogus claims.
The Greedy Game of BP Claims
It didn’t help that some firms were actually encouraging people to file regardless of how they lost money after the spill; they ruined what could have been a fairly simple process and helped to bring the causation issue under scrutiny.
Susan Gregory Elder Law Attorney of Venice
The original content of the Settlement won out in the end, in early March Judge Leslie H. Southwick ruled that BP was bound by the agreement it had signed and ordered them to pay up NOW. Southwick, who was one of the judges on the smaller panel of the 5th Circuit, ruled 2-1 against BP.
In turn, BP requested an “en banc” review to settle the issue. BP now wants the full 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to hear its argument that businesses seeking compensation for oil spill losses should have to prove those losses came from the effects of the spill, and not from some other factor not be allowed under a class settlement.
Just when we thought the issue of causation was nearly put to rest, another issue has come to pass. Proposed Policy 495: Business Economic Loss Claims: Matching of Revenue and Expenses is now official.
Originally, Judge Barbier ruled against BP’s request for this so-called “matching” of expenses to revenues, but he was asked to revisit the issue. On May 6th 2014 the proposed policy became final, leaving gulf coast claimants asking, “what does this mean for my claim”?
First, it means that all claims that have not been paid yet will be “tested” according to Policy 495. Claims that have widely varying revenues and expenses will be affected the most. BP of course agrees with 495 completely, but the plaintiff steering committee feels differently. They argue that 495 changes the method of calculation, and by doing so it changes causation.
BP Claims new tests
When the “matching and smoothing” process is performed on a claim, the revenue changes. When the revenue changes, you have to re-run causation, and that could potentially throw some claimants out of the Settlement.
This policy adds 88 pages to the already voluminous Settlement agreement, and class counsel of the plaintiff argues that this proposal makes the settlement “unrecognizable”.
On the other hand, the passing of Policy 495 means that we could be on the road to resuming payments. Even if the Plaintiff steering committee disagrees with parts of 495, it does resolve the issue of losses potentially being overstated.
While It is possible that payments may be delayed slightly if 495 is appealed, it does appear that Judge Barbier will do whatever is necessary to “get the show on the road” with regard to claimants getting paid.
It seems a compromise has been met; BP may have lost the causation argument, for now, put they did get Policy 495 pushed through. Now we are just waiting on the Fifth Circuit to issue a mandate directing Barbier to lift the injunction.
Unfortunately, even after the changes are implemented claims administrator Juneau may still not be able to resume payments. They may remain on hold while BP pursues a separate appeal at the 5th Circuit – this one involving whether business claimants must prove that their losses actually stemmed from the spill.
It is uncertain at this time how Policy 495 will affect the value of claims but we do feel that the acceptance of this policy will avoid future appellate delays. All we can hope for now is that the Fifth Circuit will come together and issue the mandate to resume payments.
From all that we have seen, we are cautiously optimistic, with the acceptance of 495 we could potentially see payments resume in as soon as 4-6 weeks.
By: Kathy Schulz
BP CLAIMS PAYMENT AS GULF COAST CLAIMANTS WAIT FOR RELIEF, BP EXECUTIVES GET A PAY RAISE.
As Gulf Coast claimants wait to recover BP Claims Payment from the oil spill of 2010, the largest environmental disaster in history, the oil giant adds insult to injury by dramatically increasing the salaries of executives instead of paying the victims of the spill. While many Gulf Coast claimants are still reeling from the effects of the spill, BP continues to be one of the most profitable companies in the world. BP was so profitable in fact that BP CEO Robert Dudley received a pay raise worth triple from his total pay in 2012. Counting salary, bonus, and stock options, Dudley’s compensation was $8.7 million. With his pension included, Dudley cleared $13.2 million. This is a little unsettling, to say the least, for local Gulf Coast companies who are STILL waiting for their BP Claims Payment and still trying to recover from the loss of business, homes, and jobs. BP appealed the settlement for the BP Claims Payment in late 2013, stating that losses were being claimed by companies whose losses did not originate from the spill. Many suspect this is yet another stall tactic to avoid paying claimants, even though BP claims that they are “committed to paying all legitimate claims of real people who suffered real financial losses from the spill.” In December 2013, a judge said BP can’t change the interpretation of its settlement just because it is paying more for losses than it expected. That judge’s ruling was upheld in early March 2014. “The settlement agreement does not require a claimant to submit evidence that the claim arose as a result of the oil spill,” Circuit Judge Leslie Southwick wrote. Because of this, BP will have to stick to its original agreement
Even more unsettling is the amount of money BP is spending on PR, and the way they are trying to “shame and blame” the claimants. “BP remains committed one of the ads reads. “But we will take whatever legal steps necessary to ensure that fraud is not rewarded and claims money goes to claimants who actually deserve it.” So far, the above statement can be translated as “pay no one in order to avoid claimants committing fraud or getting money they don’t deserve.” Sadly, many Gulf Coast residents and business owners would agree with that statement.
As they consider whether or not to appeal again BP Claims Payment, the effects of the 2010 disaster still linger in the Gulf. As of March 3, tar balls are still being collected from Florida beaches nearly four years after the spill. And recent research has found that chemicals in crude oil can be harmful to hearts of developing fish, meaning that any organism that swam near the Deepwater Horizon rig was exposed to cardiac risks. We at BPClaims.org are committed to helping claimants navigate the economic and medical claims process, and most importantly making sure that claimants get the money they are entitled to. After the latest ruling on BP Claims Payment, we are hopeful that some claims will get paid, and we thank the 5th Circuit Court and Judges like Leslie Southwick for forcing BP to “make it right” for the Gulf Coast claimants.
BP Payments Ordered to Resume?
The claimants of the Deepwater Horizon Economic Settlement celebrated a small victory earlier this month when it was decided in a 2:1 vote by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that BP will have to resume payments to victims of the oil spill. Unfortunately, even though Judge Leslie Southwick ordered that BP will have to pay up under the terms of its agreement, many business owners are still waiting to get paid.
Back in December 2013, the 5th Circuit made a ruling that required Judge Barbier to halt payments temporarily in cases where causation was not proven until that particular rule was changed under a stay. That stay, the judges noted, should be “tailored so that those who experienced actual injury traceable to loss from the Deepwater Horizon accident continue to receive recovery, but those who did not do not receive their BP Claims Payment until this case is fully heard and decided through the judicial process, including by any other panel of this court that resolves these issues.” I think it is safe to say that the “stay” didn’t go as planned. I say that because none of the businesses have been able to recover anything since the halt in payments. It seems that BP’s solution to the problem of determining causation is this: Don’t pay anyone! Not one business claim has been paid since the 2013 payment halt. Even companies who received an eligibility notice in late September 2013 are still waiting to receive their money. BP even accepted releases on these claimants, but never issued a BP Claims Payment.
The problems surrounding the causation issue arose late 2013 after allegations were made that some BP Claims Payment were being issued to claimants who did not suffer an economic loss as a result of the oil spill. Admittedly there may be some truth to those allegations; it is not always possible to distinguish if a loss came from the oil spill or just a bad economy. In order to combat that problem, the settlement originally addressed the issue of causation by setting up requirements for a BP Claims Payment. Causation is assumed based on where you live in the economic loss zones, what industry you are in, and the pattern of the company revenue post oil spill. According to the 1,200-page agreement, if a business near the Gulf Coast can show its revenue dropped in 2010 then rebounded in 2011, it qualifies for compensation. The companies are not required to prove a direct link to the spill. According to U.S. Circuit Judge Leslie Southwick in the latest BP ruling in March 2014, proving causation is not the job of the claimant nor is it to be considered a gatekeeping function of the claims administrator. The settlement states specifically that claimants are not required to submit evidence that the claim arose as a result of the oil spill, and even though BP appealed this issue, the 5th Circuit is holding BP’s feet to the fire. BP is going to be forced to uphold the settlement that they helped to create.
Since the halt in every BP Claims Payment, BP has launched a PR campaign designed to show that they have “made it right” in the Gulf so to speak and also to point fingers at Gulf Coast residents, alleging that many of the claims made as a result of losses incurred during the oil spill are fraudulent. BP even took out full-page ads in several national newspapers to prove this point, but that doesn’t help the thousands of claimants who are still waiting for payment, it only serves to frustrate and anger everyone.
The appeal and halt in every BP Claims Payment may have had some unexpected result for BP. In trying to avoid the payments using the “proof of causation” argument, BP may have actually hurt themselves in the doing. In trying to limit the cost of the settlement reached in late 2012, they may have actually increased them when they decided to fight the issue of causation. Back in 2012, BP estimated that the deal would cost the company $7.8 billion. Now, the price tag could reach $9.2 billion or higher. People and businesses making claims still have to attest that their financial losses were caused by the spill, but they do not have to submit actual “proof”. Judge Southwick writes “There is nothing fundamentally unreasonable about what BP accepted but now wishes it had not.”
Now that the issue of causation has been answered once and for all, this opens the door for all claimants claiming a “trickle down” effect loss, which in reality and according to the settlement, is a valid BP Claims Payment claim. I expect to see more claimants now, but I do wonder if they are going to run into problems when they seek help through an attorney or a claims office. BPClaims.org is still accepting clients; we were there in the beginning, and we plan on staying until the end. Unfortunately, many other firms have been forced to stop taking BP Claims because most of them are paid on a contingency basis. The halt in payments have made it impossible for these firms to continue to pay office expenses and salaries associated with processing claims. The December 2013 halt in payments hurt the claimants, is going to cost BP more in the long run, and helped BP succeeded in this: the dramatic reduction of firms that were in business to assist the claimants. That may not have been the intention, but it was one of the end results.
Meanwhile, the deadline for business BP Claims Payment is fast approaching. It was originally set for April 22, two days after the fourth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion. It now has been extended to late summer. We at BPClaims.org are still accepting claims, and we are still fighting for our clients. Now that the order to resume payments has passed, we are cautiously optimistic and expect payments to resume for businesses by April 2014 on every BP Claims Payment.
Contact BPCLAIMS.INFO by calling 1-800-272-5246 or 1-800-BPCLAIMS
This post has been sponsored by Sarasota car accident lawyer.
“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
Monday, November 4, arguments were made by BP to the Federal Appeals Court regarding last year’s initial approval of the Deepwater Horizon Settlement. The BP Settlement was put in place to compensate businesses and individuals along the Gulf Coast who took economic losses in relation to the oil spill.
What does the BP Settlement want to accomplish?
BP is trying to renege on the terms they originally agreed to, which would therefore put a total end to the settlement. This appeal is separate from a ruling made last month that is forcing BP and the Plaintiff Steering Committee to create new guidelines for the financial calculations of certain BP Settlement Business Claims. BP made this appeal because they believe that if the new calculation guidelines are not in their favor, the entire settlement should be thrown out.
The Arguments in Court
BP continues to claim that the current settlement terms are being misinterpreted by Judge Barbier and the Claims Administrator, Patrick Juneau. The Plaintiff Steering Committee, however, states that BP simply underestimated the actual costs of the settlement and the amount of claimants that would be eligible to file claims.
The judges handling the appeal gave no time frame on how soon they would issue a ruling. However, a lawyer for BP did mention that the judges may want to wait to make a decision until the new business claim calculations are agreed upon.
The Truth about the BP Settlement
Have there been claims that have been paid that did not deserve it? It is a possibility. The way the BP Settlement is set up, businesses need only exhibit a certain revenue pattern to prove their eligibility to receive compensation. Technically, a business that made more money in 2010 than in any other year could be eligible to receive compensation.
BP continues to claim there have been numerous fraudulent claims that have been filed. The way the settlement was set up may allow some claims to qualify even if their loss was not spill related. However, if the claims display the correct revenue pattern and are located within a designated economic loss zone, they qualify and there is nothing fraudulent about that. BP agreed to the initial terms and should have foreseen and properly estimated the true cost of the settlement.
We do not think it is fair for businesses that were not truly affected by the spill to receive compensation. Is it fair that businesses who actually made more money in 2010 have received settlements? We don’t think so. Should the calculation terms be re-reviewed? We think so, but we also think that the entire settlement should not be thrown out. The Deepwater Horizon Settlement is a major advancement to its predecessor The Gulf Coast Claims Facility. The parameters of the GCCF’s payouts were highly questionable, while the Deepwater Horizon Settlement guidelines are crystal clear.
What is the best option for all parties involved?
The Entire Deepwater Horizon Settlement should not come to an end. BP should be able to alter the business claim calculations to create more reasonable offers to claimants. There are still many eligible, legitimate claims that have yet to be paid. Completely abolishing the settlement makes it a lose-lose situation for everyone. We have faith that the courts will keep the settlement in place and correct the business calculation parameters to reach a happy medium between BP and the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee.
As always we are here to help you, the people of the Gulf. At the moment the future of business claims is up in the air until rulings are made in court. Most Individual, VoO and Seafood Compensation claims continue to move forward, while the processing of business claims has come to a temporary halt. We process claims for Attorney’s throughout the country and can help you receive the BP settlement you deserve. Call today if you would like to begin a claim or have questions on a claim you already have pending. We will do whatever we can to help. Check back frequently for the most recent news on the BP Settlement.
Written by: Britt Rader
BP Business Claims Halted for Calculation Reviews
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans directed Judge Barbier, to halt payouts on some BP Business Claims. BP asked the court to make the halt because they believe the Deepwater Horizon Claims Administrator, Patrick Juneau, has misinterpreted the settlement agreement and has been calculating business claims incorrectly.
Until recently, BP has unsuccessfully attempted to get the settlement agreement rewritten. On October 2nd, they were finally able to get business claim payments frozen so that the accountant calculation methods can be reviewed to make sure that Juneau is closely following the language of the settlement agreement. BP believes the current calculation methods allow claimants to receive payments that are too large, and that payments are being made to businesses that were not affected by the oil spill. BP wants businesses to submit their financials on an accrual basis for BP business claims. This is not required under the settlement at this time. They are concerned that revenues should be reported on accrued basis and not when payment was received.
In October BP had questioned the settlement in regards to how they are processing cash based accounting claims. Because the settlement does not specify that a certain accounting method must be used they have always accepted whatever the claimant had consistently used. BP did not file any complaints at that time. Again in November BP supported the final approval of the settlement guidelines and seemed to be happy with the way claims were processing. They signed this document and should not be able to add or take away from it. In December BP started expressing their concerns to the Administrator. After two failed attempts to change the settlement BP has gone to the Appeals court. On October 2nd they finally won and the settlement is being looked at again.
I believe that if we re-write the already signed and executed settlement we are opening a can of worms that could potentially cause even more delays in settlements being paid. If BP gets the chance to change the settlement then someone needs to be fighting to get the dreaded and impossible customer mix test thrown out. If businesses are going to have to go and change their accounting from cash to accrual basis then will they still be considered contemporaneously kept documentation? If BP gets the chance to spread income over a period of months does that mean people can take their yearly income and expenses and divide them by 12 to complete their profit and losses? Why does BP get to rewrite the settlement and retail stores and restaurants who are obviously tourist driven fall short of qualifying due to the fact they cannot account for 100% of their income by name and address?
BP has yet again figured out a way to screw the Gulf Coast residents, delay payments and earn a little extra interest on the funds that still have not been paid out to those who deserve it. BP should be stuck with what they signed and shame on the appeals court for allowing them to weasel more time to delay payments.
BP has won this round, but in the end, the people of the Gulf who were so devastatingly affected should receive the payments they deserve.
Although this is bad news for some claimants, we believe people that were not affected by the spill should not be able to receive compensation. As much damage as BP has caused, we know that some claimants and attorneys are working the system for all its worth.
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What does this mean for existing BP business claims?
We don’t know yet exactly what the new calculation changes are going to be, but we do know if given the chance BP will continue to try and change things to help themselves not the Gulf Coast Residents they screwed over three years ago. We will all have to wait and see what BP, the Plantiff Steering Committee and Juneau come up with next.
By: W.C. Bohack