While Gulf residents await Judge Barbier’s decision on final approval of the Economic and Medical settlements, the Deepwater Horizon Claims Facility continues to make strides in both claims paid and claims received. Including over $405 million in transition payments made immediately before the claims facility went online, claimants have either accepted or received payments totaling $1.6 billion as a direct result of the settlement reached between BP and the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee.
Initially, the claims facility paid more seafood compensation and VoO charter payment claims than it did business claims. Recently, however, the facility is showing an ability to pay more complex business claims from all over the Gulf region, as business claims represent nearly $630 million of the $1.5 billion in claim offers made by the facility. Further analysis reveals that businesses have confidence in the claim facility, as 80% of the offers made were accepted, totaling $504 million. This is very good news for business owners who may have feared that the claims process was too good to be true.
Another very important measure of confidence can be found in the continued growth of claims filed. As of December 17, 2012, the claims facility had received a total of 105,376 claims. Florida currently leads the way with the largest share of claims at 33%, followed by Louisiana (27%); Alabama (16%); Mississippi (12%); and Texas (4%). Breaking down the numbers further, the largest portion of filings are individual economic loss claims (28%), followed by business economic loss (25%), Coastal Real Property (14%), Seafood Compensation (10%), Subsistence and VoO Charter Payment (7%, respectively), Wetlands (3%), Startup-Up and Failed Businesses (2%), and Vessel Physical Damage and Real Property Sales (1%).
Lawyers in our firm continue to evaluate and file business claims each day. As awareness continues to spread, we expect that business claim filings will grow significantly in the coming months. Considering the claims facility has only made payment offers on 20,000 of the 105,000 claims filed, we believe the current claims paid value is the “tip of the iceberg” of what this claims facility will ultimately pay. If you have any questions about the claims process, or if you need assistance in preparing your business’s claim, please contact Sandra Walters at Sandra.Walters@beasleyallen.com or 800.898.2034. She will make sure you are put in touch with a lawyer in our firm.
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