As part of the court-administered settlement, seafood harvesters are guaranteed to receive a total of $2.3 billion in compensation as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. However, those harvesters, which include shrimpers, oystermen, crabbers, fin fishermen, or other harvesters such as clam farmers, only have a limited time to bring their claims. The seafood bar date is set to occur within 30 days of District Court approval of the settlement. Considering the Court will likely rule within a month of the November 8, 2012 fairness hearing, the bar date will likely occur around January 2013.
Seafood harvesters that have not opted out of the settlement and fail to bring their claims before the bar date will lose all rights to recover oil spill compensation. After the bar date occurs, a third party neutral will assess whether any funds remain of the $2.3 billion in guaranteed compensation. If funds are left over, we anticipate that the neutral will order a second distribution of money to those qualifying in the settlement. Because of the fund’s size and the sheer number of seafood harvesters that have already accepted a final settlement in the GCCF, we believe a second distribution of compensation to qualifying harvesters is a real possibility.
Seafood harvesters can have significant claims in the settlement, and we are working hard to file claims on their behalf. Parker Miller heads up the firm’s commercial seafood harvesting group. If you have any questions about commercial harvester claims, contact Parker at 800-898-2034 or by email at Parker.Miller@beasleyallen.com.
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