Deepwater Horizon Court-Supervised Settlement Program
ALERT: Beware of Misleading Offers of Assistance
As often happens following a disaster, opportunists seeking to take advantage of a situation begin to appear. This may be happening in the Panhandle of Florida as people offering help in the
aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill – or related problems – have appeared.
A woman who appeared to be offering legal advice set up shop in Panacea last week claiming in a town hall-style forum that chemicals sprayed following the oil spill are making the residents sick and
that it isn't safe for them to work on the water or sell their seafood. Claiming to represent a Texas law firm, she intimated that she was there to help people get paid and prevent further sickness. The
woman’s actions and offers are being investigated.
Floridians are urged to thoroughly review and consider such offers of assistance in accessing remuneration. The official claims process is outlined below and any updates to the process will be on this
website as well.
The Court Supervised Settlement Program began at 7:00 a.m. CST/8:00 a.m. EST on June 4, 2012.
To view the Position of the Claims Administrator on Process Issues dated May 22, 2012, Click Here.
The settlement is not yet final and is ultimately subject to the final approval of the Court.
If you have economic loss or property damage because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, you could get money from a class action settlement with BP Exploration & Production Inc. and BP America Production
Company (“BP”). Go to www.deepwaterhorizoneconomicsettlement.com for more information, including information on how to file a claim.
Who is Included in the Economic & Property Damages Settlement?
The Economic and Property Damages (“E&PD”) Settlement Class includes people, businesses, and other entities, in the states of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, and certain counties in Texas and Florida, that were harmed by the oil spill. The
website has detailed descriptions
and maps to help you determine whether a geographic location may be included in the E&PD Settlement. Additionally, you can call 1-866-992-6174 or e-mail
questions@DeepwaterHorizonEconomicSettlement.com to find out
if a geographic location is included. The Detailed Notice has more information on who is included.
What does the Economic & Property Damages Settlement Provide?
The E&PD Settlement makes payments for the following types of claims: (1) Seafood Compensation, (2) Economic Damage, (3) Loss of Subsistence, (4) Vessel Physical Damage, (5) Vessels of Opportunity Charter
Payment, (6) Coastal Real Property Damage, (7) Wetlands Real Property Damage, and (8) Real Property Sales Damage. There is no limit on the total dollar amount of the E&PD Settlement; all qualified claims will
be paid. The Detailed Notice has more information on E&PD Settlement benefits.
How to Get Benefits from the Economic & Property Damages Settlement
You need to submit a Claim Form to request a payment. You can get a copy of the various Claim Forms by visiting the website or by calling 1-866-992-6174. Claims can be submitted online or by mail. If
you have questions about how to file your claim, you should call the toll-free number for assistance.
The deadline to submit most E&PD claims will be April 22, 2014 or six months after the E&PD Settlement becomes effective (that is, after the Court grants “final approval” and any appeals are resolved), whichever
is later. There will be an earlier deadline to submit E&PD Seafood Compensation claims. The earlier deadline to submit Seafood Compensation claims will be 30 days after final approval of the Settlement by the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana (regardless of appeals). Actual claim filing deadlines will be posted on the website as they become available. Valid claims will be paid as they are approved, beginning
shortly after the Court-Supervised Settlement Program commences. It is highly recommended that E&PD Settlement Class Members complete and submit their Claim Forms promptly. Please read the
Medical Benefits Settlement Notice because you may also be eligible for benefits from that settlement.
Your Other Options
If you do not want to be legally bound by the E&PD Settlement, you must Opt Out or exclude yourself by October 1, 2012 or you won’t be able to sue BP over certain economic and property damages claims.
If you stay in the E&PD Settlement, you may object to it by August 31, 2012. The Detailed Notice explains how to
exclude yourself or object.
The Court will hold a hearing on November 8, 2012 to consider whether to approve the E&PD Settlement. You or your own lawyer may ask to appear and speak at the hearing at your own cost. The Court will
also consider Class Counsel fees, costs, and expenses including an interim payment of $75 million and additional awards equal to 6% of class claims and benefits paid. Class Counsel fees, costs and expenses
under the Economic and Property Damages Settlement Agreement and the Medical Benefits Settlement Agreement jointly cannot exceed $600 million. Class members’ payments will not be reduced if the Court approves
the payment of Class Counsel fees, costs, and expenses because BP will separately pay these attorney fees, costs, and expenses.
By Telephone: Toll-free: (866) 992-6174. For TTY assistance, please call: (888) 584-7624. The Deepwater Horizon Settlement toll-free help line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and live operators
will be available from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Monday through Friday (Eastern Time), and 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday (Eastern Time).
This notice does not provide any information related to the separate Medical Benefits Settlement also reached related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. For more information about the Medical Benefits Settlement,
and to determine whether your rights are affected by that settlement, or whether you are eligible for benefits under that settlement, visit
www.deepwaterhorizoneconomicsettlement.com or call 1-866-992-6174.
SOURCE: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana