The BP claims process was mired in litigation and appeared to be a never-ending saga of appeals. On December 8, 2014, in what would normally be the final appeal, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari of BP’s last appeal (In other words, the Supreme Court denied to hear the case). This ruling means that the settlement agreement, which was entered into over two (2) years ago, will remain in place and will not be disturbed by the Supreme Court. The clock is now ticking for filing claims, and a deadline now looms in the future.
This is great news for individuals and businesses located along the Southwest Coast of Florida who has filed claims. While the settlement program has been processing claims since the Supreme Court declined to issue an injunction against payments back in June of 2014, the process has been moving very slowly. It seemed that the process was being delayed in case the Court did in fact decide to hear the appeal.
While this latest development is great news for all businesses and individuals who have filed claims, this does not mean that payments will start being made immediately as the claims review process still must be followed. Due to changes in interpretation and new procedural guidelines with certain industries with regards to matching revenues and expenses as well as additional document requests being made by the accountants reviewing the claims, it is likely that additional information and or documents will be requested from the claimants prior to payments being made. (I fully expect BP to start to challenge more and more individual claims through the settlement's internal appeal process now that they have failed at trying to get the settlement itself dismissed.)
The denial of the appeal by the Supreme Court now sets a firm deadline for claims to be filed. All claims must be filed within six months of December 8, 2014. This is good news for the thousands of individuals and businesses who have yet to file their claims. If you think that you or your business may have a claim or you worked for an employer who has received a settlement payment from the BP settlement, the clock is now officially ticking and it is imperative that you seek legal guidance regarding your rights to a settlement payment. This settlement program does not have a cap on the damages that BP must pay so your claim will not affect the claim of other individuals or businesses in the Gulf Coast Region.
If you have further questions or wish to take advantage of our free consult for BP claim matters please contact us at (800) 391-4337.