The 1,200+ page BP Deepwater Horizon Economic Damages Settlement Agreement creates a detailed – and complex – road map for businesses seeking visibility on whether they qualify for funding. In the traditional sense, legal “causation” – the requirement that a Plaintiff demonstrate a direct correlation between his or her circumstances and the act of the Defendant, is waived. Rather, an artificial causation test, based almost exclusively on quantitative measures of financial performance during the months that followed the spill, has been implemented.
In general, there are 18 distinct options available to meet this artificial definition of “causation.” The exercise in intensive financial analysis and forensic accounting should only be attempted by those professionals who are educated in law, finance and accounting, as well as have an intimate knowledge of the nuances found in the 1,200 page settlement agreement. We have encountered countless inexperienced attorneys, CPA’s and claims “consultants” and “adjusters” who, while able to plug numbers into a calculator, cannot apply the dynamic concepts of the agreement. The result? Lower claim values for their clients, and in many cases, erroneously concluding that their clients do not have any valid claim.
At our firm, we will perform an initial analysis for causation – for free. In our opinion, if a business does not meet causation, there is no reason to go through the motions of hiring an attorney to file a claim that is hopelessly doomed. Doing so is a waste of time and money – ours and our clients. In order to perform this test, we will need to review profit and loss statements in monthly format for all of 2007 through 2011. The 60 months of P&L’s must be delivered to us in Excel spreadsheet format. We can usually provide an answer within 48 hours.
If your attorney, CPA or other “consultant” is unable to determine whether you meet causation once they are provided with 2007-2011 monthly P&L’s on an Excel spreadsheet – fire them. Contact us. We’ll take a look.