With the processing of SCP claims finished, the Settlement Program has now shifted its attention to other claims. More than 386,000 claims were filed since claims were first being accepted in June 2012. The sheer volume of claims, combined with an appeal from BP resulting in an 11-month suspension of processing Business Economic Loss claims, caused processing to extend beyond the two years Claims Administrator Patrick Juneau initially expected to settle all claims. The new goal is to complete the claims review process within one year.
Nonetheless, the Settlement Program has made significant progress in implementing the largest private settlement claims process overseen by a United States Federal Court. Statistics released by the claims administrator’s office illustrate the progress made and work that remains:
• Business Economic Loss (BEL) claims are 70 percent complete, with 94,301 of the 134,527 claims resolved. This is the largest category of claims filed in both number and payments made, representing $6.2 billion in offers issued in Eligibility Notices.
• Two subsets of the BEL category are Start-Up BEL claims and Failed BEL claims. Start-Up BEL claims are also 70 percent complete and have been awarded $164.8 million. Failed BEL claims are 77 percent complete but have only received $9 million.
• Individual Economic Loss (i.e. lost wage claims) are 87 percent complete, with 52,983 of the 60,803 claims resolved and $90.1 million paid.
• Wetlands Real Property claims have received $204.5 million for 72 percent of the 28,195 claims filed.
• Subsistence claims are 67 percent complete and have received $298.3 million. These claims were filed by individuals who could not consume the seafood or game they typically harvested after the oil spill due to health and safety concerns.
The following categories are virtually complete:
• Vessel Physical Damage claims are 99% complete with a handful remaining on appeal. More than $12 million was awarded to the 1,564 claims filed.
• Individual Periodic Vendor or Festival Vendors are also 99% complete with 5 claims still under review. More than $77,700 was paid for 389 claims.
• Coastal Real Property is 99.9% complete with 32 pending review. The 42,223 claims in this category represent more than $164 million awarded.
BP estimates the total value of the private economic settlement to reach $12.9 billion. With this final estimate in place, BP tallied its total cost for the oil spill to be $61.6 billion. Hopefully a price tag this large will deter any corporate giant from cutting corners to earn a quick buck at the expense of worker and public safety.
If you need additional information, contact Ryan Kral, a lawyer in our Toxic Torts Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Ryan.Kral@beasleyallen.com.
Sources: nola.com and www.deepwaterhorizoneconomicsettlement.com
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