June 4th, 2013 marked the official one year anniversary of the start of the Deepwater Horizon Settlement Program. As a result of the 2010 BP oil rig explosion, the Federal Court approved what currently remains the largest settlement program in the history of the U.S., addressing economic losses in gulf coastal communities.
As the deadline to file a claim draws nearer, it is important to understand how this Program and timeline may affect business owners of all industries along the coast. As of June 17th, 2013, a total of 177, 009 claims have been submitted between all eligible states, 58,841 of which coming from Florida. The largest claims category, Business Economic Loss Claims, accounts for nearly 30% of all claims submitted.
Claims administrator Patrick Juneau, has predicted an influx of claims as the deadline nears, and, as the claims center continues to ramp up its work in reviewing claim submissions, the amount of accepted claim offers also rises. From September to October of 2012, the total amount of accepted claim offers was $200,139,511. From March to April of 2013, that amount increased to $313,437,171. Most recently, from May to June of this year, that number stood at $331,660,543.
As time passes and BP continues to circulate the media, awareness and understanding are increasing in coastal communities and among business owners regarding their rights under the Deepwater Horizon Settlement Program. There is no benefit in waiting to file a claim, and in fact, the closer we get to the end, the longer it will likely to take to receive settlement funds. There is no risk or cost associated with being evaluated, and the average business economic loss claim is standing at $249,365.
As BP pushes forward with an appeal to re-evaluate the interpretation determining how businesses suffered economic losses, the Program remains intact and all valid claims will be paid out.
For more information on being evaluated and how we are helping Florida businesses with their BP claims, visit www.erglawfirm.com