Tag Archives: oil spill attorneys
The V Trend Explained
Many people are being told to opt out, or stay in The BP Settlement much of this discussion hinges upon understanding the V Trend.
If you are a Zone A Business or Individual you do not need to worry about the V Trend, just show a loss in 2010. Documenting those losses, under the terms of the Settlement are key.
To qualify under the settlement, many businesses need only show that their gross revenues for three consecutive months or more between May and December 2010 diminished 8.5 % (15% in zone D) as compared to the same months in either 2009, the average of 2008-2009, or the average of 2007-2009, this forms the first leg of the “V”- Shaped test. For the second leg of the “V”-Shaped Test, the business needs to have an increase in 2011 of 5% (10% in zone D) for the same consecutive months in 2010. There is a similar test for Individuals.
There are exceptions to this rule that we can assist you with. Importantly, outside of what the settlement methodology requires, a business is not required to draw a connection between the oil spill and their drop in revenues. Please understand the last part, you do not need to show the Oil Spill caused the loss. In many areas though the Oil Spill did deflate an economic recovery that was occurring in many areas along the Gulf Coast, and they should pay for it.
BP Settlement Zones
The Coastal areas from close to Houston to Key West are a conglomeration of A, B, and C zones, aside from the coastal areas, the whole states of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and the counties of Florida touching the Gulf are all zone D. To view the maps go here. Each zone has different RTP`s or Multipliers associated with it that will enhance the final calculation of your loss.
To Opt out or Opt In (That is the Question)
In the end the the decision is yours, at this point however there are a lot of people trying to answer it for you. Most of them are Attorneys with very large case loads. They have been holding their case loads over the heads of the settlement like a sledge hammer, telling the leadership if they don`t get their way they are going to tell their whole client base to Opt Out, and if the Settlement Fund did not get the show on the road they had good reason, the fund needs give them at the very least a sample set of claims. However it is my opinion the show is finally on the Road if ever so slowly leaving the Gate, and it is not time to Opt Out just yet. In about 2 weeks that answer may change.
Granted the BP Settlement, took a little longer to get going then anticipated, the date had to be extended, certain processors for the BP Settlement (Deepwater Horizon Settlement) had issues, but it has begun. If you Opt Out you can choose to litigate or have your claims filed with BP, under the BP Claims Program, for some this is a necessity. You need to do this by November 1, 2012, you do not need to be aligned with an Attorney to Opt Out.
Now mind you, if you Opt Out of the BP Settlement, the Judge capped what an Attorney can charge you at 25% of whatever your claim receives under the BP Settlement, if you Opt Out it is going to be whatever you agree to.
BP Business Claims
Business Claims that could demonstrate losses under the the V trend model and other settlement remedies such as the failed business model have done well lately, and recently we have gotten quite a few offers in. The numbers that our Claims Professionals have come up with, and what has been offered by the settlement have been as little as 1% off. The offers we have seen from the Settlement have all been fair, and they have all been accepted by our clients.
Why some Claims have Languished
What we have seen so far is that Individual Claims and Seafood Compensation Claims have not done well under the Settlement, due mostly to staunch documentation issues and because many processors and Attorneys decided to place an emphasis on business claims. Some documentation issues have recently been relaxed, and more people were hired to process claims by The Settlement.
After 2 1/2 years of trying to get people paid through the GCCF, and then the Settlement, many coffers were low, and the groups in this litigation for the most part, but not all rushed to get Business Claims that worked under the terms of the BP Settlement in first. This left many Individuals who have waited patiently, still waiting to be processed and many are being urged to Opt Out, and pursue litigation.
Many of these people have elected to release their Attorneys and Consultants recently and decided to go it alone or seek help elsewhere, and who can blame them. I strongly urge you to at the very least to see if your claim has been processed before doing so, and what is the calculation. If it has not been fully processed at least get an idea of when it will be, and if the Settlement is good for you.
Often the people helping with your claim are not at fault, the entire process has let you down. People are tired, and they have every right to be. There really needs to be a better solution for them. We really are all in this together and I urge everyone involved in this to stop putting profit before people and do the next right thing.
Now with all of that being said, for many Individual Claims and others it may be better to Opt Out and get with the right Attorneys and become a member of some class that may form down the road, or another remedy such as OPA presentment. We have reviewed and submitted a large number of Individual Claims in house recently, and I have to tell you their numbers and the lack of documentation that they can come up with does not bode well for them under the Settlement.
If you have all of your documentation and you can Clearly demonstrate your loss the above statement may not apply to you. However some of the Attorneys that have been at this for awhile are truly pros when it comes to this sort of litigation and I urge you to listen to them, they have a strategy, people need to judge their own claims based upon realistic expectations and proper documentation, in the end the choice is yours.
Now mind you I am not an Attorney and in no way is any of this legal advice, I am simply laying out the landscape as I see it, I am a large proponent of PPP, ( pause, pray and proceed), the answers will come.
BP Settlement Solutions
If you would like to understand more from an Attorneys point of view go to OilSpill-Attorneys.com, the Attorneys you will find here are a consortium of highly skilled Attorneys, who helped create this site and clearly expressed their views.
If you would like to use a Processor, and have a clear cut business loss you may want to use our highly skilled and trained Group of Claims Adjusters and CPA`s.
Mind you Processors can not give legal advice, and Attorneys can, that is something to consider at this point with the opt out dates coming up.
Neither gets paid until you do.
Again the decisions are yours.
We will help you with your BP Settlement and Beyond.
Visit Us on Facebook.
Best of Luck to All.
If you Need Help call 1-800-BP-CLAIM
Deepwater Horizon Settlement Claims and Thoughts
One of the best things we did recently was put up a Facebook site called DeepWater Horizon Settlement Updates. It has fostered spirited discussions, and led me to more fully understand the frustrations shared by so many. It has also educated me and others in many ways.
The Leadership of the Fund could learn a few things from the contributors, and I invite them to join the discussions.
Trending BP Settlement Conversations
- Attorneys are preparing for a mass exodus from the Settlement, especially if Claims don`t get paid soon, and I mean real soon.
- People are seeing the same patterns with the GCCF and The Settlement.
- If this continues people will be mobilizing and seeking retribution from BP
- The Media has chosen to Opt Out for the most part, and people feel there is a conspiracy going on.
- People are tired of waiting, and who can blame them.
My Thoughts on what is Trending and Beyond
- Many people have individual claims and they have been underserviced in the Settlement.
- Fact: many Attorneys and Processors prioritized their claims for the BP Settlement by dollar value and businesses went in first.
- The paperwork needed initially was to intensive, hopefully the new rules and sworn statements will help.
- People need to give the New Fund more time, but they NEED to step it up.
- The Media has not Paid enough attention to the struggles after the spill, specifically sick people.
- Data around catches is false, specifically the last news article about the rebound read it here
- We will see a full environmental collapse in some areas
- We are being fed a highly orchestrated stream of p.r. from our government, media, and BP.
- Where is Anderson Cooper when we really need him.
- People who received Quick Pays need to come back to the table.
- Medically things are much worse then we know.
- We need more time to evaluate the true environmental aftermath of the spill.
- BP is playing for time and always has been.
- For some the Settlement is wonderful, specifically businesses outside of the area directly impacted by oil.
- For others it just won`t work, people who make a living from the Gulf and folks with real Medical Issues.
- Most people don`t realize they needed to completely update their claim if it was with the GCCF for the Settlement.
- Attorneys need to be totally transparent as to where a claim is at, even with the new login that allows a claimant to see status, they still don`t know how well documented the claim is. People need to know if their claim is actually complete or were just a few papers filed as is often the case.
- The whole process needs more time, we should not be bound to 3 years per OPA because we didn`t know what actually happened until year 4 with the Valdez and that is just STUPID.
- Too many people put profit before people throughout this whole process.
I am sure there is more, but these thoughts came to the forefront, as always we will help you with your BP Settlement Claims, we can help you get to Attorneys that actually walk their talk if needed, or process your claims ourselves, and we remain committed to helping you all any way we can.
Some Good news lately, we did get a few claims paid recently, and our Calculations were less then 1% off.
Non Attorneys charge 15%, and Oil Spill Attorneys charge 25%, one way or another we will get you the help you need.
Best of Luck with your BP Settlement.
BP Property Claims and VOO Claims get first look
The DeepWater Horizon Settlement Fund has certainly made a priority of paying VOO Claims and property Claims first. With over 3,300 Notices sent out, over 3,150 are either for BP Property Claims or for VOO Charter Payment.
VOO Charter payment accounted for over 2,500 Eligibility Notices for Payment. We told you VOO Claims would be the first to get paid months ago. We have gotten VOO Claims processed and paid in under a week.
BP Claims Status Report
On September 5th the Claim Administrator Pat Juneau , made available a report on the progress and the status of the claims review process. There are serious issues that they are encountering, they are trying to develop workarounds to these issues.
BP did not seem to be amendable regarding some of the workarounds. Shortly after the report the Department of Justice came out with a statement that they would be pursuing Gross Negligence charges against BP. A few days after that The Settlement Fund came out with a notice that some document requirements would be relaxed. Hopefully BP got the message, and this will allow for more claims to be paid, and faster processing.
According to the Report many claims did not have sufficient documentation.
- 40% are missing one or more required documents
- 52% of Represented and pro se Claimants Claims were incomplete
- 48% of the claimants had claims with the GCCF that were incomplete
- 8,100 claims have been reviewed since mid-July
The numbers of Business Claims, Seafood Compensation Claims, and Individual Loss economic claims that have received an eligibility notice for payment is tragically low. This will hopefully change as the documentation guidelines have been relaxed. They needed to be.
This what we have seen through our network, VOO Claims are getting paid, many of the VOO Claims we have gotten paid had already taken Quick Pays.
Many of our larger Business Claims and those in our Network, have Claims that have gone under review. Several firms in the Network have received offers for their Business Claims, most of these offers were accepted and considered to be fair.
BP Settlement Fund has much to Do
The report went on to say that The Settlement is trying to get out letters of determination to over 30% of the Claimants by October 1. We had been told they were attempting to do this by September 10th.
We have been recently told they will be sending out letters of determination to over 3,000 by the end of the week, with approximately 1/3 of them receiving offers, in essence by October 1, over 15,000 people should know exactly where they stand.
Time is running out for the BP Settlement, I do believe the people in leadership positions have the best intentions. I also believe that they are running head long into obstructions that have been there since the GCCF, and if these obstructions are not removed very shortly the settlement may not survive.
If BP does not play ball and actually try to move the process forward, instead of hiding behind their lawyers and legal wrangling, there will be serious ramifications, whether it is through a Massive Boycott, the D.O.J, or some other mechanism. I guarantee to you, it won`t be pretty.
The BP Oil Spill was their fault not Ours. We need to hold them accountable, and We will.
Issues that need to be Addressed
Some real areas of concern right now are revolving around the environment, Oysters in Apalachicola and the surrounding areas are not spawning. We all know that Corexit is to blame, I was told BP was trying to blame it on past storms. My suggestion to BP is to take FULL responsibility for ALL of the Environmental after shocks of this Disaster.
Medical issues are continuing to worsen for many. People that were on the front lines are dying from very aggressive cancers. The National Institute of Health that has been taking samples for months, are sending out very vague letters staying very clear of linking the Oil Spill or the use of Corexit to these peoples health issues. People are dying here, we need real answers, not rhetoric.
Quick Pays, one thing I have learned form many of the people that make a living from the Gulf is that many of you have have issues reading, and many of you took Quick Pays. There is not one doubt in my mind that you were preyed upon, this issue needs to be fixed, and fixed now. With all of the issues the fisheries are having and the catches dwindling as they have, people are getting very desperate out there, and something needs to be done for them.
We will Help You
We remain committed more then ever to helping you through this process and are forging ahead with a number of entities of helping you get through this Disaster. As the process evolves so will our Strategies.
We have recently formed a relationship with a consortium of committed Oil Spill Attorneys that have a long history fighting for your rights. They specialize in BP Denied Settlement Claims, and the majority of other claims covered by the settlement, and those that are not. They are also not afraid to litigate you BP Claims.
We have also forged a relationship with an Adjuster and Accounting firm, one of the largest in the country, that specializes in BP Business Claims. They have over 300 full time CPA`s, and have retained some of the most knowledgeable people in this process.
Attorneys traditionally charge 25%
Non Attorneys charge 15%
We will Help you with your BP Claims and Beyond.
Denied BP Claims are still on the Rise
The Gulf Coast Claims Facility has shown no mercy for incomplete BP Claims. Many of the claims are not incomplete but simply mislabeled.
This has led many to believe that the GCCF is intentionally misleading people and business’ filing claims. The fact is the GCCF has told attorneys that they can file claims that are not complete. Though a few offers have been made, many are still facing deficiency and denial issues. This is an overt act on the GCCF`s part to confuse an already difficult process. Make sure when you are asked for BP Claims documents that you furnish all of the ones the attorneys or BP Claims adjusters ask for.
BP Claims Audit on Track
Perhaps the biggest news is about the audit. The U.S. Senate voted Tuesday to move forward with the GCCF audit. The proposal was spearheaded by Marco Rubio and Roger Wicker and was passed as an amendment to a package of spending bills. It should be noted that Jo Bonner and Jim Hood have been tackling this issue for some time. This would insure a review of the process that the Gulf Coast Claims Facility uses to evaluate and pay out claims of economic damage resulting from the oil spill. Hopefully this will get to the bottom of something that should have had more government oversight for some time.
Moratorium BP Claims back on the Table?
Ken Feinberg is making statements that he wants BP to pay for the workers and businesses affected by the moratorium. This is an expected move from Feinberg. As he comes under fire from other areas, he usually tries to offset the scrutiny by doing something positive. He said he needs BP`s permission to do this. It would bode well for him if he could get their cooperation on this issue. The only reason drilling was shut down was because of BP`s shortcuts. Giving people back what the moratorium stole from the people and businesses would only be fair. Moratorium Claims should be paid.
The Seafood Industry and BP Claims
Lets face the truth here, the news it not good on most fronts. The FDA admits the majority of Shrimp show signs of contamination, and the catches of shrimp are down dramatically. Crab catches are down 30-40%. There seems to be signs of some brown matter in most of them, visible since their shells are transparent in the young. For this and other reasons, scientists on the front lines with one of the largest crab wholesalers say it will take 7 years for the crabs to rebound. To top it off pregnant women and children are being advised not to eat Gulf Shrimp. By the way the PAH`s in the Gulf Shrimp bio-accumulate and move up the food chain as they are eaten by predators. In the end we are at the top of that food chain. Feinberg promised to help Shrimpers Claims after getting grilled on Capitol Hill.
BP Claims Help
We have created The BP Claims Dream Team that consists of Claims Adjusters and BP Claims Counselors and Oil Spill Attorneys. It is our intent to get you connected to the groups that will best handle your claim and get you paid as quickly as possible. Certain types of claims are best served by certain Team members. We have seen many claims that are under 50k paid within 3 weeks. We have Team members that specialize in these types of claims, but you do need all of your documentation, including tax records, w-2`s and so on. Team members will organize and calculate your claims with no upfront cost to you. Fees start at just 15% and only get paid when you get paid. Team members can help you with denied claims or claims that are stalled at the GCCF.
We will Help you with your BP Claims.
Gulf Coast Claims Facility: BP Claims Coalition is Formed
We have been in meetings over the last two weeks with Attorneys at the forefront of the oil spill litigation. The Gulf Coast Claims Facility has helped unite a group of Oil Spill Attorneys, Claims Adjusters and Activists. In an effort to hold BP and the Gulf Coast Claims Facility accountable, a formidable coalition of BP Claims Experts has been created. For the last two weeks we have gotten together to share ideas and intelligence on the trends we are seeing with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. For months we have told you about our BP Claims Team, well the Team just got a lot bigger, with one goal in mind, to get your BP Claims Paid.
Gulf Coast Claims Facility Trends
What we are seeing is the GCCF is still making it difficult for BP business claims to get paid, without the help of knowledgeable Oil Spill Claims Experts. They are still trying to stall claims, and offering Quick Pays even when the amount owed far surpasses the Gulf Coast Claims Facility offer. The GCCF is still utilizing a delay, deny, and defend strategy, and waiting clients out that desperately need the money to keep afloat. This tragic, yet successful strategy has resulted in many business owners settling for the 25k quick pay, or just giving up on the BP Claims process.
Gulf Coast Claims Facility a True Story
Last week I spoke to an individual who just could not wait any longer, he was a Marine Contractor and built docks along the Gulf Coast in Mobile. People were not building any new docks since the spill, he had filed a claim over 7 months ago. He had received an EAP from BP. He had given the Gulf Coast Claims Facility every document they asked for, he was told on several occasions his BP Claim was escalated and was told to be expecting a check soon. The Gulf Coast Claims Facility went on to say that his BP Claim had already gone to the accounting firm that was going to be cutting him his check. He was expecting an Interim payment with a final offer totaling around 120k. Instead they made him wait months only to offer him 25k, and he was forced to take it due to his economic situation. This is what we are trying to help people avoid.
Here is an email he wanted me to share with you all.
What can I say. If you go to a Gulf Coast Claims Facility office and look on the door and all around they have (We are here to help you recover) That is a lie. It is now 8 months into 2011 and the Gulf Coast Claims Facility has done nothing to help me recover. On Feb. 15th I filed an interim claim for what I thought was the 1st quarter of this year, 9 weeks later on April 21st I got a determination letter that offered me zero on the interim and they offered me the 25,000 quick final pay. The quarter they determined was the last three month of 2010 which I had been sent an emergency advance payment in Sept. that covered my losses for 2010 I have no problem with that. So I filed another claim for the 2nd quarter on the 22nd of April 2011. Today is July 31st 2011 and I still have no new determination letter even though the first letter expired on July 24th 2011. I went into a claims office here in Mobile, Al on July 1st and filed a claim for the 3rd quarter at which time I was told that my claim had been passed along and was now at the accountants Price-Waterhouse, that was a month ago now and still no word.
Prior to the spill I owned my own company as a marine contractor building Boathouse’s, Bulkheads, Piers, and Marina’s all along the Gulf Coast. I had a consistent income of over 5,000 dollars per month. After the Oil spill I have had zero income from my company. All Building of Piers, Boathouse’s, Bulkheads and Marina’s Just stopped. The pile driving companies that were giving me the work all went to work for BP or they also lost contracts thus affecting my company in a negative way. I have been trying to find work ever since and the little bit that is coming back has not made it down to my company. I find it to be a shame that Ken Feinburg gets paid every month and the people who work at the Gulf Coast Claims Facility all get paid every two weeks but the people like me who are the ones who have suffered this loss. We can’t even get an answer as to when or if we will get recompensed at all. I find that to be discriminatory towards the people and businesses here who have suffered a loss and I wonder why the Media and the government have failed in holding the Gulf Coast Claims Facility and BP to their promises. These people get paid on a regular basis but those who’s livelihood has been taken away we have to wait and try to survive on nothing for many months at a time only to find out that the Gulf Coast Claims Facility can take as much time as they want even going beyond the 90 days they claim that it takes to review a claim and send a determination letter. Can someone please give me an answer before I’m forced into bankruptcy?
He eventually took the 25k quick pay and the future still remains uncertain.
If you have been offered a BP Claims Quick Pay, and would like it reviewed at no charge (most Quick Pays are 3-7 times too low), if you have yet to file a claim, or your claim was denied or is stalled at the GCCF, We can Help you.
If you need Help with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility we have BP Claims Experts that can and will help you.
Fees start at 15% of what is recovered, don`t be a victim twice.
Claims Adjusters and Attorneys are standing bye to help you with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility.