New BP Compensation Opportunities for Businesses Large and Small.
As of June 4, 2012, a new funding mechanism was implemented to benefit businesses affected by the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Many types of companies can participate.
While the criteria are complex and varied, if your corporate entity or other commercial (or non-profit) concern experienced a revenue decrease over a three month period between May and December of 2010, you would be well served to have your books evaluated by legal and financial counsel. If your revenue trend follows a certain pattern, indicating a loss associated with the spill, you may qualify.
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The closer you move to the coast, the less stringent the financial causation test becomes. In Zone C (anywhere from 1 mile to approximately 20 miles inland), 2010 revenue for any three month period between May and December must only be down 8.5% as compared to previous benchmark periods, and up only 5% during the same months in 2011. Finally, in Zone A, largely comprised of barrier islands, there is no causation test to meet.
The agreement is very nuanced and there are many exceptions to what is stated above. As such, it is important to consult with an attorney to better understand your options.
While the initial evaluation is free, if you subsequently retain the firm, preparing and filing your claim is a complex process for which a contingency fee is charged.
Additionally, there are many CPA’s and para-professionals (claims “adjusters” and “consultants”) who simply do not understand the complexity of this voluminous settlement agreement. A recent report issued by the Claims Administrator highlighted the significant number of claims that are being denied outright or returned for deficiencies because they were prepared by inexperienced and unqualified non-lawyer para-professionals.
Finally, BP often appeals awards issued by the Claims Administrator. Navigating the appeals process is foreign territory for all lay people and most attorneys. Make sure the law firm you choose has experience handling BP appeals.
The old adage “you get what you pay for” is apropos as it relates to this program.