Gulf Oil Spill Settlement Lawyers: Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, & Florida

Deadline to file BP Oil Spill claims is June 8, 2015Contact Baron & Budd

Baron and Budd’s Environmental Litigation Group has tackled a number of tough issues, including the BP oil spill. Representing hundreds of public entities, businesses, and individuals who were affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Environmental Litigation Group continues to play a leadership role in the ongoing litigation against BP and other companies responsible for the explosion and spill, including Transocean and Halliburton. Baron & Budd shareholder and environmental lawyer Scott Summy plays a leadership role in the litigation against BP and the other companies responsible for the explosion and spill, including Halliburton and Transocean. He serves as a member of the court-appointed Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) that guides the litigation on behalf of all injured parties, and he is a member of the court-appointed Executive Committee (EC).

It is not too late to file a claim for compensation against BP. If your business was hurt by the BP oil spill, either from the spill itself or in the wake of its devastation from the year 2010 to 2012, please contact our Baron & Budd environmental attorneys at 866-364-6376 or contact us here. You may be entitled to compensation if you suffered property damage or loss of income because of the oil spill.

We are continuing to evaluate potential claims for individuals and businesses in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

Gulf Oil Spill Cleaning Crew
The BP oil spill began with the deadly explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig on April 20, 2010. The tragedy rocked communities all along the Gulf Coast. Families lost loved ones who had worked on the rig. Coastal cities and businesses watched the shore anxiously for the oil slick to roll onto shore. Fishermen were forced to leave their fishing grounds and go without catch.

How we Negotiated Settlement for Victims of the Gulf Coast Oil Spill

Baron & Budd’s oil spill lawyers took immediate action in 2010, working tirelessly to help both individuals and businesses that were affected by the BP oil spill. The firm continues to be a leader in negotiations with BP, Transocean and Halliburton today, and represents thousands of clients in this matter.

In the weeks that followed, business along the Gulf slowed. Oil streaked and clumped on beaches. Hotels lost reservations as visitors decided to vacation elsewhere. Boat dealers couldn’t sell inventory for fear that oil would damage new boats. Restaurants sat empty as diners avoided seafood. And as businesses lost customers, their employees lost income and jobs. The ripple effect spread, so that even hospitals and movie theaters saw a downturn. Oyster leaseholders were especially devastated as they lost significant production that may continue for many years. The environmental and commercial damage was unprecedented.

The economic loss spread to governmental subdivisions that lost revenues from a variety of business, sales, property, and tourism taxes.

BP set up the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) to compensate those who had spill-related losses. Claims flooded in, but the GCCF was slow to respond, or paid out funds inconsistently. Many claims were denied without explanation.

In 2012, the PSC negotiated an open-ended settlement with BP of property damage, economic and medical claims by businesses and individuals — with no cap (or limit) on the value of potential payments to claimants. In addition, BP set aside $2.3 billion for oyster leaseholders, commercial fishermen, seafood boat captains, and others. And another $57 million will be used to promote the Gulf areas to increase tourism and the seafood industry. The settlement of claims through the GCCF was replaced by the Court-Supervised Settlement Program. You don’t need to file a lawsuit for compensation claims against BP for property damage, lost revenue, and other damages. Give us a call so we can discuss your oil spill claim and see whether you are eligible to receive damages from the BP settlement.

Baron & Budd sees the settlement as a positive development for those affected by the spill. As Scott Summy describes it, “the settlement provides the most benefit for the largest number of people. Its intent is to operate in an efficient and swift manner, providing fairer results than the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. It will also have the benefit of strict oversight by the very Court that has overseen this case from the beginning. It’s a win for the people and businesses that have been hurt.”

But many individuals and businesses may not be aware that they have a right to recovery under the settlement. The settlement generally applies to individuals who lived, worked, or owned or leased property in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and certain coastal counties in eastern Texas and western Florida and businesses that operated in those areas between April 20, 2010, and April 16, 2012. If you are unsure of whether you qualify but were affected by this tragic event, contact an oil spill lawsuit attorney at Baron & Budd to see if you qualify for compensation. The settlement pays eligible individuals and businesses for claims in six categories of damage.

What Type of Claim Can Businesses and Individuals Receive Compensation for in the BP Oil Spill Lawsuit Settlement?

  1. Specified types of economic loss, lost wages, and lost revenue for businesses and individuals.
  2. Specified types of real property damage (coastal, wetlands, and real-estate property sales damage).
  3. Participation in the Vessel of Opportunity Charter clean-up program.
  4. Physical damage to marine vessels, fishing boats, shrimp boats, yachts, and other watercraft.
  5. Damage for loss of subsistence fishing.
  6. Damages to compensate commercial fishermen, seafood boat captains, all other seafood crew, oyster leaseholders, and seafood vessel owners for economic loss claims relating to seafood.

Any business that has lost revenue or suffered property damage as a result of the BP oil spill may file a claim.

Many of Baron & Budd’s clients have filed claims for these types of losses through the Settlement Program. Some examples include:

  • Restaurants in New Orleans that lost local and visiting customers who did not visit the city or avoided seafood as a result of the Spill;
  • Boat manufacturers in Florida who lost sales as potential customers shied away from fishing and boating in the Gulf after the Spill;
  • Dentist in Belle Chasse, Louisiana who lost business following the Spill as patients lost jobs and insurance coverage;
  • Hospital in Tampa, Florida that saw a drop in the number of patient visits as fewer tourists visited the area.

Many individuals and businesses may not be aware that they have a right to recovery under the settlement. The settlement generally applies to individuals who lived, worked, or owned or leased property in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and certain coastal counties in eastern Texas and western Florida and businesses that operated in those areas between April 20, 2010, and April 16, 2012.

The settlement compensates eligible individuals and businesses for six categories of damage:

  • Specified types of economic loss for businesses and individuals
  • Specified types of real property damage (coastal, wetlands, and real property sales damage)
  • Participation in the Vessel of Opportunity Charter clean-up program
  • Physical damage to marine vessels
  • Damage for loss of subsistence fishing
  • Damages to compensate commercial fishermen, seafood boat captains, all other seafood crew, oyster leaseholders, and seafood vessel owners for economic loss claims relating to seafood.

Because the settlement is a “class action” settlement, it applies to all included individuals and businesses whether they make claims or not.

There are two exceptions: Some individuals and businesses were specifically excluded from the settlement, so they are required to file lawsuits against BP to recover their losses; while other individuals and businesses chose to “opt out” of the settlement to file lawsuits against BP.

An individual or business may file a lawsuit against BP to recover its losses only if it was excluded from or opted out of the settlement. The deadline for opting out of the settlement was November 1, 2012.

Baron & Budd represents a number of clients that were excluded from or opted out of the settlement. These include, for example:

  • County government in Florida that lost tax revenues when tourism dropped after the Spill;
  • Seafood processor in Key West, Florida that was forced out of business when fishing grounds were closed after the Spill;
  • Fishing guide in Louisiana, who suffered complete loss of income after the Spill when potential customers avoided fishing in the Gulf.
We are continuing to evaluate potential claims for individuals and businesses in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. If you suffered property damage or loss of income because of the BP oil spill, please contact our Baron & Budd Environmental Group lawyers at 866-364-6376 or complete our online form here.

The Baron & Budd Environmental Litigation Group’s experience in environmental lawsuits and litigation is a real benefit to clients. The firm has been litigating against major oil companies — including BP — for almost twenty years. Because of this experience, Baron & Budd can anticipate BP’s strategies and defenses and has the necessary relationships with the company’s lawyers to allow trust and cooperation between the parties. Speak with a Gulf Coast oil spill lawyer at Baron & Budd to see what your options are.