Claims continue to come into the Oil Spill Claims Facility. As of February 20th fully completed claims stood at 131,055 and claims started were at 11,387, for a total of 142,442 claims. These numbers are almost double the number of claims received by the facility last November (70,000 fully completed plus 10,000 started, or 80,000 total claims). Individual economic loss claims remain as the largest category of claims filed at 17,486, but business claims (16,856) continue to be filed at a heightened pace, and may catch the individual claims before the facility closes.
Payments and determinations are another closely tracked statistic in the facility. As of February 20, 2013, the claims facility had issued payment offers for almost 28,000 claims in the amount of nearly $2.2 billion – nearly half of which were business claims. Of those offers, $1.94 billion in claims (almost 24,000 total) have been accepted. In comparison, November totals suggest 6,460 claimants had accepted a total near $500 million in claims. While these numbers demonstrate significant progress that Claims Administrator Pat Juneau can build upon, the claims facility is working hard in processing claims to payment in order to keep pace with the volume of claims coming into the facility.
Lawyers in our firm continue to assist businesses and individuals throughout the Gulf Coast in preparing and submitting claims to the facility, and we have been happy with the results we have obtained for our clients. We have learned from experience that these claims are not a simple accounting exercise. BP is closely monitoring every claim that is filed in the facility, and has exercised its right to appeal hundreds of claims where it sees deficiencies in either claim preparation or settlement interpretation. We believe that advocacy for the client in these appeals is critical if the client is ever to obtain the full amount they are entitled to under the settlement’s terms.
If you have any questions about the claims process, contact Sandra Walters, Toxic Torts Administrative Secretary, at 800.898.2034 or Sandra.Walters@beasleyallen.com. Sandra will put you in touch with one of the Section’s lawyers who are working on this litigation.
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