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Public Companies Have Fiduciary Responsibility to Look at BP Claim

The claim submission window for the BP Settlement Program remains open, and, while there is still time, businesses – especially publicly traded ones – should take a moment to consider their responsibility to its employees and shareholders when deciding whether or not to file a BP economic loss claim.

Ruth’s Chris, a publicly traded company, last month released that it received a $2.2 million check, net of fees, for economic loss indirectly related to the BP oil spill in 2010.  That amount was determined by a set of complicated economic formulas designed to measure a specified drop in revenue in 2010 and a rebound in 2011.  It wasn’t a handout or money that Ruth’s Chris wouldn’t have earned absent outline influences (e.g. BP’s gross negligence leading to the oil disaster).  It was repayment of funds as was intended under the strict guidelines of the Deepwater Horizon Settlement Program.

The problem is that the vast majority of businesses – small, large, private, public – are not filing claims.  They, it appears, are simply leaving money on the table (and back in BP’s pockets), to the detriment of their shareholders and employees.

The CEO of a publically held company is tasked with guiding, and maximizing, the financial health of the company.  Certainly as part of that, uncovering money or assets to which the company is entitled is a given.  Therefore, if there is even a possibility of recovery of lost revenue because of some harm done to the company, it is the fiduciary’s responsibility to take the necessary steps to find out.  Law firms, such as ERG Law Firm, make it simple to do so.

Simply put, innumerable companies suffered a downturn in their business in the wake of BP’s 2010 oil spill.  Recognizing the broad impact, BP agreed to a class action settlement that will pay any claim that meets the Program’s financial and geographic parameters.  The Program has been upheld as valid and fair, and is now entering the final 6-12 month stretch of the claims submission portion.

The bottom line, there are simply too many businesses in Florida that are either uninformed about the BP Deepwater Horizon Settlement Program, or misinformed and assume they don’t qualify or should not participate.  BP negotiated and agreed to this Settlement Program as a way to satisfy the tremendous amount of litigation it was facing.  But, it can only do so if businesses take the steps to be evaluated by a law firm dedicated to representing them through the entire, streamlined process.

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