BP Oil Spill Frequently Asked Questions From Clients

By: Jeff Lieser Posted on: Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

What is the Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill Settlement?

A settlement program set up to compensate businesses and individuals for economic losses caused by the April 20, 2010, explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and the resulting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP has agreed to pay all claims no matter the dollar amount. Although each claim will differ in value, the average economic loss is approximately $200,000. As of January 22, 2013, 106,103 claims have been filed and approximately $1.3 billion has been paid. Approximately $400 million of unfiled claims remains to be paid.  Find more basics about  BP oil spill claims.

YOU MUST FILE A CLAIM before APRIL 22, 2014, to recover your economic losses. You will have no recourse if you fail to file a claim.

Which Businesses and Individuals Are Eligible?

Sunset over Clearwater BeachAny individual or business located in the colored zones of this map may be eligible to collect economic damages. The individual or business DOES NOT have to be involved in tourism, seafood or any particular Gulf Coast-related industry or be physically located near the Gulf of Mexico to be eligible to participate in the settlement. However, some industries are excluded from the settlement.

How Do I Show Eligibility?

You must show that you earned less money during any three-month period between May and December, 2010 than you did during the same period in previous years. You do not have to show that the lost income was directly or even remotely caused by the spill.

What Amount of Damages Can I Recover?

This depends on your zone. Check the map.

1. Zone D. This region extends up to 325 miles inland. Your revenue must have dropped by at least 15 percent during a three-month period between May and December, 2010 as compared to:

  • The same three-month period in 2009; OR
  • The average of those three months in 2008 and 2009; OR
  • The average of those three months in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

The claimant selects which three-month period and the comparative years. Additionally, the claimant must show that the revenue earned during the same period in 2011 rebounded by at least 10%.

2. Zone C. This region extends up to 20 miles inland. The 2010 revenue must have dropped by at least 8.5 percent during a three-month period between May and December, 2010 and rebounded by 5 percent during the same period in 2011.

3. Zone B. This region is largely wetlands. The compensation process is complicated, but in generally the amount of compensation will depend whether an eligible parcel of wetland is an oiled primary area, a non-oiled primary area or a buffer area.

4. Zone A. This region is mostly barrier islands. There are no financial criteria to meet. Most individuals and businesses in Zone A automatically qualify.

How Are Damages Calculated for Individuals and Businesses That Are Located in More Than One Zone?

The settlement agreement addresses individuals and businesses that operate in more than one zone. The calculation of lost revenue will largely depend on whether you separated the financial records by location.

How Are Damages Calculated for Businesses in Zones C & D That Started Up Very Shortly Before the Oil Spill?

The settlement agreement addresses “start-up” businesses and the records they should produce. The business’ performance in 2011 will be important in calculating the value of the claim.

Can I Participate in the Settlement Even Though My Company Went Out of Business and There Are No 2011 Financial Records?

Yes. The settlement agreement addresses failed businesses. You may still have a claim for economic losses if your business started operating before November 1, 2008 and failed between May 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010.

Can I Recover Damages From this Settlement If I Have Filed a Claim With the Gulf Coast Claims Facility?

You are eligible to recover economic losses if you DID NOT sign a release before February 27, 2012. Additionally, you can participate in this settlement even if the GCCF denied your claim.