Additional Relief for BP Claimants

bp settlementThis week a 1.1 billion settlement with Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. (HESI) was announced by the BP Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for the BP/Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Litigation. The HESI settlement is in part to Halliburton’s role in the incident being found criminally negligent; and in a further attempt to make things right for the Gulf Coast, the settlement was approved. Judge Carl A Barbier will oversee the settlement and continues to have an active role in the ongoing Deepwater Horizon Economic Settlement.

While we are not attorneys, we feel it is important to keep all affected claimants informed, and to ensure that they receive all of the information they are entitled to in a timely manner. As always, we continue to be advocates for victims of the BP oil disaster, we have been there since the beginning when the disaster happened in April of 2010.

If you were denied previously, you may still be eligible.

The HESI Settlement includes two classes:
1) Individuals and businesses that are class members in the existing Deepwater Horizon Economic Settlement. We were disappointed to see that businesses and individuals who received “quick pays” in the beginning were excluded. We continue to seek justice for those individuals. Many were unfairly coerced into accepting a settlement that may have solved some economic issues short term; but I have heard from many of those same individuals that the compensation they received was far less than what they should have received. Unfortunately, many of those people who received “quick pays” had to take the payments. The only other option was to lose their businesses or homes. Sadly for many, that happened anyway. We continue to seek justice for those victims.

2) Any “individual” business (including fishermen and charter boat operators), property owner, or governmental entity (excluding both state and federal government) that is proven to have Robins Dry Dock standing under General Maritime Law.

This particular settlement applies to commercial fishermen and charter boat operators that were in business at any time between April 20, 2009 and April 18, 2012; property owners, businesses and local governments that had oil touch their real estate or personal property any time between April 20, 2010 and April 18, 2012; and individuals that fished or hunted in specified areas and depended on their catch for subsistence, barter or trade” (CNBC, September 2, 2014).

Exclusions to the HESI Settlement:

(1) Any New Class Member who timely and properly elects to opt out of the New Class under the procedures established by the Court?.
(2) Defendants in MDL 2179, and individuals who are current employees of HESI, or who were employees of HESI during the Class Period.
(3) The Court, including any sitting judges on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, their law clerks serving during the pendency of MDL 2179, and any immediate family members of any such judge or law clerk.
(4) Governmental Organizations as defined in Section 5.
(5) Any Natural Person or Entity who or that made a claim to the GCCF, was paid, and executed a valid GCCF Release and Covenant Not to Sue, provided, however, that a GCCF Release and Covenant Not to Sue covering only Bodily Injury Claims shall not be the basis for exclusion of a Natural Person.
(6) BP Released Parties and individuals who were employees of BP Released Parties during the Class Period.
(7) Transocean and individuals who were employees of Transocean during the Class Period.

As part of the settlement process, an “Allocation Special Master” will be appointed. They will determine what portion will go to each class. The court will also develop a Distribution Model to determine the best way to distribute funds. We will provide further information as we receive it. For more information regarding the status of your existing claim or to file a new claim, please complete the form on the left hand side so that we can begin setting your claim up soon. We have been processing claims since the beginning of the disaster, and we are committed to seeing our claimants through to the end; ensuring those affected receive the compensation they deserve.

Feel free to contact us if you are unsure of your status or have any questions at 1-800-272-5246.
All claimants can check their status at any time on-line. It is not necessary to go through endless hold times or automated systems; you simply need your claimant ID and Social Security Number (or EIN number). Your attorney or Deepwater Horizon can provide you with that.
-Our clients can call us directly (941-343-8700) or (1-800-BPClaim)
-All other claimants can call DWH at 866-922-6174 to get your claimant ID or to check status
-Once you have your claimant ID #, go to deepwaterhorizoneconomicsettlement.com and follow instructions for “check my status”. You will need the last four digits of your EIN number or SS number (depending on what number you are filing with).

We feel it is important that claimants stay informed. Many claimants are frustrated with the amount of paperwork required and for the length of time the claims process takes.

BP has been rallying to gain support to gain a hearing with the Supreme Court in an effort to reduce their obligation to the Gulf Coast. They have supporters you would not expect: A Chamber of Commerce, a Watch Group out of Washington, even Ken Feinberg supported briefs that were written to dissuade the courts from hearing this case.

feinberg2Mr. Feinberg was the former head of the GCCF. As most of us remember, the GCCF was such an abomination and hurt so many, which is why the Deepwater Horizon Economic Settlement was written in the first place.

The GCCF failed; Feinberg hired cronies who didn’t even know how to process claims! There were briefs written (and supported by these same individuals against the settlement) adding insult to injury for all victims of the spill; those who lost their jobs, homes, and businesses.

We at BPClaims.org continue to go to bat for all claimants. We will not stop until justice is served.

 How to check the Status of your BP Claims

Get the money you deserve, file your BP claim today

bp claimsSince the recent court rulings, we are now seeing BP claims paying again. About a month after the decision made by the Fifth Circuit Court ordering BP to resume payments, we began to see a regular flow in the way of notices and some payments.

 

Keep in mind, all claims that were not paid prior to the halt in payments that was ordered in late 2013 have to be recalculated to determine if they are going to be subject to Policy 495 (which involves matching and smoothing financial statements to avoid showing an overstated loss).

If the company has financial statements showing a revenue trend making it subject to 495, the claim will be recalculated according to the new Policy.

This means that an earlier estimate you received may change, and you may have to wait a little longer to receive your claim.

 We are now seeing Zone A businesses and individual claims paying at this time.

It appears the focus is on claims from the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2013.

We have also been told that medical claims are now paying out, but only the smaller ones, claims of around $1,300.00.

 One of the huge problems we are starting to see is that people may have a claim filed, but they have not heard anything from the claims office or attorney they filed with.

While it is not unusual for a claim to take a couple of years to pay out, not hearing ANYTHING may indicate a problem.

We have discovered that some of the firms have abandoned their clients, and many of those claims have been denied. Some of these clients were never notified.

Don’t worry, it is fixable.

1800BPCLAIM is still filing claims, since there is not an official effective date, there is not an official deadline. After the effective date is set, claims can still be filed for six months past the effective date.

Here are some of the problems we have been seeing with clients from other firms:
-        Claimants have incomplete notices that have not been cured
-        Claims have been denied without the claimant’s knowledge
-        Many claimants discover they have to start over in the claims process

WE CAN HELP. If there is a problem with your claim, it is possible for you to take control of your claim and take a course of action that will enable you to collect the money you are entitled to.

How To Check The Status of Your Claim

You can quickly discover the status of your claim by going to www.deepwaterhorizoneconomicsettlement.com, then go to check my status. You will need you claimant ID and the last four digits of your business or social security number.

You should be able to check your status on-line, or you can call 866-992-6174 to reach Deepwater Horizon directly.

If you find your claim has been dropped due to processor error, call us. We can help. We have never stopped filing and we will continue to file claims until the last BP Claim is filed.

Call Us at 1-800-BP-CLAIMS (1-800-272-5246)

We are based out of Sarasota Florida.

 

Author Kathy Schulz

BP Business Claims Payments

bp business claimsEver since BP put a hold on paying claims to businesses, gulf coast businesses that were affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill have been patiently waiting for the British Oil Giant to pay up and honor the terms of the Deepwater Economic Settlement Agreement.

Now, after months (years in some cases) of claimants providing documentation to prove their claim is legitimate, the rules have suddenly changed.
It’s just another chapter in the ongoing tug-of-war over who should be paid under the multibillion-dollar settlement for victims of the BP oil spill.

First, BP appealed the issue of causation; stating that businesses should have to prove that their losses were directly caused by the spill.

This became an issue after some “questionable claims” were submitted and unfortunately paid under the current Settlement Agreement which assumes causation based on where a business is located, the industry, and the pattern of revenue.

Admittedly, there were some claims were paid that had nothing to do with the oil spill. Sadly, the legitimate claimants on the gulf coast are suffering for the dishonesty of firms and claimants who submitted bogus claims.

The Greedy Game of BP Claims

It didn’t help that some firms were actually encouraging people to file regardless of how they lost money after the spill; they ruined what could have been a fairly simple process and helped to bring the causation issue under scrutiny.

The original content of the Settlement won out in the end, in early March Judge Leslie H. Southwick ruled that BP was bound by the agreement it had signed and ordered them to pay up NOW. Southwick, who was one of the judges on the smaller panel of the 5th Circuit, ruled 2-1 against BP.

In turn, BP requested an “en banc” review to settle the issue. BP now wants the full 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to hear its argument that businesses seeking compensation for oil spill losses should have to prove those losses came from the effects of the spill, and not from some other factor not be allowed under a class settlement.
Just when we thought the issue of causation was nearly put to rest, another issue has come to pass. Proposed Policy 495: Business Economic Loss Claims: Matching of Revenue and Expenses is now official.

Originally, Judge Barbier ruled against BP’s request for this so-called “matching” of expenses to revenues, but he was asked to revisit the issue. On May 6th 2014 the proposed policy became final, leaving gulf coast claimants asking, “what does this mean for my claim”?

First, it means that all claims that have not been paid yet will be “tested” according to Policy 495. Claims that have widely varying revenues and expenses will be affected the most. BP of course agrees with 495 completely, but the plaintiff steering committee feels differently. They argue that 495 changes the method of calculation, and by doing so it changes causation.

BP Claims new tests

When the “matching and smoothing” process is performed on a claim, the revenue changes. When the revenue changes, you have to re-run causation, and that could potentially throw some claimants out of the Settlement.

This policy adds 88 pages to the already voluminous Settlement agreement, and class counsel of the plaintiff argues that this proposal makes the settlement “unrecognizable”.
On the other hand, the passing of Policy 495 means that we could be on the road to resuming payments. Even if the Plaintiff steering committee disagrees with parts of 495, it does resolve the issue of losses potentially being overstated.

While It is possible that payments may be delayed slightly if 495 is appealed, it does appear that Judge Barbier will do whatever is necessary to “get the show on the road” with regard to claimants getting paid.

It seems a compromise has been met; BP may have lost the causation argument, for now, put they did get Policy 495 pushed through. Now we are just waiting on the Fifth Circuit to issue a mandate directing Barbier to lift the injunction.

Unfortunately, even after the changes are implemented claims administrator Juneau may still not be able to resume payments. They may remain on hold while BP pursues a separate appeal at the 5th Circuit – this one involving whether business claimants must prove that their losses actually stemmed from the spill.
It is uncertain at this time how Policy 495 will affect the value of claims but we do feel that the acceptance of this policy will avoid future appellate delays. All we can hope for now is that the Fifth Circuit will come together and issue the mandate to resume payments.

From all that we have seen, we are cautiously optimistic, with the acceptance of 495 we could potentially see payments resume in as soon as 4-6 weeks.

By: Kathy Schulz

 

BP Claims Payment

BP CLAIMS PAYMENT AS GULF COAST CLAIMANTS WAIT FOR RELIEF, BP EXECUTIVES GET A PAY RAISE.

BP Claims PaymentAs Gulf Coast claimants wait to recover BP Claims Payment from the oil spill of 2010, the largest environmental disaster in history, the oil giant adds insult to injury by dramatically increasing the salaries of executives instead of paying the victims of the spill.  While many Gulf Coast claimants are still reeling from the effects of the spill, BP continues to be one of the most profitable companies in the world.  BP was so profitable in fact that BP CEO Robert Dudley received a pay raise worth triple from his total pay in 2012.  Counting salary, bonus, and stock options, Dudley’s compensation was $8.7 million. With his pension included, Dudley cleared $13.2 million. This is a little unsettling, to say the least, for local Gulf Coast companies who are STILL waiting for their BP Claims Payment and still trying to recover from the loss of business, homes, and jobs. BP appealed the settlement for the BP Claims Payment in late 2013, stating that losses were being claimed by companies whose losses did not originate from the spill.  Many suspect this is yet another stall tactic to avoid paying claimants, even though BP claims that they are “committed to paying all legitimate claims of real people who suffered real financial losses from the spill.” In December 2013, a judge said BP can’t change the interpretation of its settlement just because it is paying more for losses than it expected. That judge’s ruling was upheld in early March 2014. “The settlement agreement does not require a claimant to submit evidence that the claim arose as a result of the oil spill,” Circuit Judge Leslie Southwick wrote. Because of this, BP will have to stick to its original agreement

 

Even more unsettling is the amount of money BP is spending on PR, and the way they are trying to “shame and blame” the claimants.   “BP remains committed one of the ads reads. “But we will take whatever legal steps necessary to ensure that fraud is not rewarded and claims money goes to claimants who actually deserve it.”  So far, the above statement can be translated as “pay no one in order to avoid claimants committing fraud or getting money they don’t deserve.”  Sadly, many Gulf Coast residents and business owners would agree with that statement.

 

As they consider whether or not to appeal again BP Claims Payment, the effects of the 2010 disaster still linger in the Gulf. As of March 3, tar balls are still being collected from Florida beaches nearly four years after the spill. And recent research has found that chemicals in crude oil can be harmful to hearts of developing fish, meaning that any organism that swam near the Deepwater Horizon rig was exposed to cardiac risks.  We at BPClaims.org are committed to helping claimants navigate the economic and medical claims process, and most importantly making sure that claimants get the money they are entitled to.  After the latest ruling on BP Claims Payment, we are hopeful that some claims will get paid, and we thank the 5th Circuit Court and Judges like Leslie Southwick for forcing BP to “make it right” for the Gulf Coast claimants.

 

BP Payments Ordered to Resume?

The claimants of the Deepwater Horizon Economic Settlement celebrated a small victory earlier this month when it was decided in a 2:1 vote by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that BP will have to resume payments to victims of the oil spill.  Unfortunately, even though Judge Leslie Southwick ordered that BP will have to pay up under the terms of its agreement, many business owners are still waiting to get paid.

 

Back in December 2013, the 5th Circuit made a ruling that required Judge Barbier to halt payments temporarily in cases where causation was not proven until that particular rule was changed under a stay.  That stay, the judges noted, should be “tailored so that those who experienced actual injury traceable to loss from the Deepwater Horizon accident continue to receive recovery, but those who did not do not receive their BP Claims Payment until this case is fully heard and decided through the judicial process, including by any other panel of this court that resolves these issues.”  I think it is safe to say that the “stay” didn’t go as planned.  I say that because none of the businesses have been able to recover anything since the halt in payments.  It seems that BP’s solution to the problem of determining causation is this:  Don’t pay anyone!  Not one business claim has been paid since the 2013 payment halt.  Even companies who received an eligibility notice in late September 2013 are still waiting to receive their money.  BP even accepted releases on these claimants, but never issued a BP Claims Payment.

 

The problems surrounding the causation issue arose late 2013 after allegations were made that some BP Claims Payment were being issued to claimants who did not suffer an economic loss as a result of the oil spill.  Admittedly there may be some truth to those allegations; it is not always possible to distinguish if a loss came from the oil spill or just a bad economy.  In order to combat that problem, the settlement originally addressed the issue of causation by setting up requirements for a BP Claims Payment.  Causation is assumed based on where you live in the economic loss zones, what industry you are in, and the pattern of the company revenue post oil spill.  According to the 1,200-page agreement, if a business near the Gulf Coast can show its revenue dropped in 2010 then rebounded in 2011, it qualifies for compensation.  The companies are not required to prove a direct link to the spill. According to U.S. Circuit Judge Leslie Southwick in the latest BP ruling in March 2014, proving causation is not the job of the claimant nor is it to be considered a gatekeeping function of the claims administrator.   The settlement states specifically that claimants are not required to submit evidence that the claim arose as a result of the oil spill, and even though BP appealed this issue, the 5th Circuit is holding BP’s feet to the fire.  BP is going to be forced to uphold the settlement that they helped to create.

 

Since the halt in every BP Claims Payment, BP has launched a PR campaign designed to show that they have  “made it right” in the Gulf so to speak and also to point fingers at Gulf Coast residents,  alleging that many of the claims made as a result of losses incurred during the oil spill are fraudulent.  BP even took out full-page ads in several national newspapers to prove this point, but that doesn’t help the thousands of claimants who are still waiting for payment, it only serves to frustrate and anger everyone.

 

The appeal and halt in every BP Claims Payment may have had some unexpected result for BP.  In trying to avoid the payments using the “proof of causation” argument, BP may have actually hurt themselves in the doing.  In trying to limit the cost of the settlement reached in late 2012, they may have actually increased them when they decided to fight the issue of causation.  Back in 2012, BP estimated that the deal would cost the company $7.8 billion.  Now, the price tag could reach $9.2 billion or higher.  People and businesses making claims still have to attest that their financial losses were caused by the spill, but they do not have to submit actual “proof”. Judge Southwick writes “There is nothing fundamentally unreasonable about what BP accepted but now wishes it had not.”

 

Now that the issue of causation has been answered once and for all, this opens the door for all claimants claiming a “trickle down” effect loss, which in reality and according to the settlement, is a valid BP Claims Payment claim.  I expect to see more claimants now, but I do wonder if they are going to run into problems when they seek help through an attorney or a claims office.  BPClaims.org  is still accepting clients; we were there in the beginning, and we plan on staying until the end.  Unfortunately, many other firms have been forced to stop taking BP Claims because most of them are paid on a contingency basis.  The halt in payments have made it impossible for these firms to continue to pay office expenses and salaries associated with processing claims.  The December 2013 halt in payments hurt the claimants, is going to cost BP more in the long run, and helped BP succeeded in this:  the dramatic reduction of firms that were in business to assist the claimants.  That may not have been the intention, but it was one of the end results.

 

Meanwhile, the deadline for business BP Claims Payment is fast approaching. It was originally set for April 22, two days after the fourth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion. It now has been extended to late summer.  We at BPClaims.org  are still accepting claims, and we are still fighting for our clients.  Now that the order to resume payments has passed, we are cautiously optimistic and expect payments to resume for businesses by April 2014 on every BP Claims Payment.

 

Contact  BPCLAIMS.INFO by calling 1-800-272-5246 or 1-800-BPCLAIMS

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Polar Opposites: David Duval compared with Judge Edith Clement

BP SettlementThis morning I saw the second Freeh Report, which basically highlighted David Duval`s departure from the Deepwater Horizon Settlement.

It seems to me that the only chink in Mr. Duval’s armor was an email that he sent to his cousin regarding a panelists comments. Neither Mr. Duval or his cousin had any sort of monetary gain at stake from sending it, or reading it.

As the report noted, Mr. Duval was forthright immediately. As I understand it, he actually told the DWHS Leadership, and I will repeat this again, he had no financial gain whatsoever in sending this email to his cousin who is also an attorney.

He immediately resigned, as sending the email was contrary to an agreement that he had with the leadership of the Deepwater Horizon Settlement regarding confidentiality, and he wanted to avoid any hint of impropriety.

Now lets Compare Judge Clement’s Actions to David Duval’s

Let’s compare what happened to David Duval and how he dealt with it, versus what is going on with Judge Clement and her relationships with Big Oil.

Clement will not Leave the FREE organization (Foundation for the Environment and Economics)

Another opinion on F.R.E.E.

This is sourcewatch.org’s view of the FREE Organization –

Based out of Bozeman, Montana, FREE is a prime engine for free market environmentalism in the area of education.

The chairman, John Baden (a past member of the National Petroleum Council), preaches reliance on market mechanisms and private property rights, rather than on environmental law, for protection of the environment. Baden stresses decentralization – a shift of control from what he calls “Green platonic despots in D.C.” to “local interests.”

In reference to the agenda of FREE, Baden has written that it’s, “the norm among progressive, intellectually honest and successful environmentalists.”

One of the newest FREE plans is the “Charter Forest” project, in which national forests would no longer operate under the “multiple use” standard. Instead, each forest would be managed by whomever could make the greatest profit from it.

FREE has been offering all expense-paid trips to seminars for federal judges.

These seminars which feature such topics as “The Environment: A CEO’s Perspective” are usually held at private ranches or resorts in Montana with a plethora of amenities for the judges to enjoy. In the late 90’s, FREE bragged that nearly 1/3 of the federal judiciary had either attended or was seeking to attend one of their seminars.

The Koch Brother Support FREE:

This is from GREENPEACE

Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group is the

Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment (FREE)

GreenPeace reported that  FREE received $430,000 from Koch foundations 2005-2011 [Total Koch foundation grants 1997-2011: $1,525,000].
Peter Geddes, Executive Vice President of FREE, has advocated against taking action on climate change because warming is “inevitable” and expensive to address. In addition, FREE sponsors seminars for federal judges that have been criticized for creating judicial conflicts of interest.

It gets BETTER – guess who The Koch brothers do Business with, BP of course.

The Koch Brothers even pollute the environment with BP, just ask the residents on the East Side of Chicago. This was recently documented by the Huffington Post. Here is the article.

So Judge Clement who is a board member of FREE, who takes large donations from the Koch Brothers, who work with BP, and both pollute the environment.

It is Very Very Clear that Judge Clement has a conflict of interest here, she should not be in any way associated with BP. Yet the Companies who fund her organization work closely with BP.

For further clarification of the Junkets for Judges program and Judge Clements TAINTED relationship with FREE click here.

This is from their website

FREE’s mission is to imagine and implement an economic way of thinking that is consistent with a society of free and responsible individuals

In essence they are for deregulation of the Energy and Oil Industrial sector, but they do have a few noble endeavors towards helping wildlife, but don`t let that fool you. This is an organization with a lot of influence that works for Big Oil and their interests.

It is funded by Exxon/Mobil, the Koch Brothers,Texaco, Exxon, General Electric,  Monsanto, and Shell. They are the major players in the Oil and Gas Industry.

Judge Clement has a relationship with an organization which she has been asked to step down from by Committee on Codes of Conduct of the Judicial Conference of the United Stated District Court  other judges have stepped down from FREE, so that there would not be a conflict of interest. Judge Clement still participates in FREE  as a board member

Judge Clement appears to have a long-standing relationship with Big Oil she was appointed to  the bench by George W. Bush and we all know he loved big oil. Bush signed the most sweeping bill to deregulate oil in 2005. Judge Clement was assigned to the 5th Circuit in 2001. Do you think that George Bush had an agenda to advance Big Oils interests, YOU BET HE DID.

If you look at Judge Clement’s stock portfolio you will notice that many of her mutual funds have energy stocks within them, she had interest in BP stock until 2009 or so.

If you compare David Duval`s actions and voluntarily resigning, versus Judge Clement’s refusal to recuse herself after a relationship with FREE. They are polar opposite in terms of integrity.

It is clear that Mr Duval has taken the high road while Judge Clement stands firm with Big Oil, and this has negatively impacted the BP Claims Settlement, either by her own ideology which is why Bush appointed her, or because of her relationship with Big Oil or a combination there of.

It is very clear what her next move should be, and it is not hearing the next appeal, but to step down from FREE, and correct any public perception of impropriety .

We want to Hear From You

If you are involved with the DeepWater Horizon Settlement and would like to write a blog for this page please feel free to email us at Kathy@BPClaims.org.

You are welcome to visit our FaceBook page.

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Judge Edith Clement and Big Oil

“IS THE BP CLAIMS PROCESS BEING HIJACKED BY FRIENDS OF BIG OIL”

BP Claims and Judge Edith ClementOn Thursday morning, January 16, I was sent a link to an article written by James Gill of The Advocate in Baton Rouge.
The article was on  Judge Edith Clement, who is the 5th Circuit Judge that originally sided with BP, and will hear more of BP`s appeals in the very near future. 

The article points out that there may be a good reason that this judge, who seems to be very friendly to BP with her written opinions, is making the decisions that greatly benefit BP, and not the people that were financially harmed by the worst man-made disaster in U.S. history.

Judge Clement and FREE

The article points out that Judge Clement has for years been a board member one of the most active front organizations, for Big Oil and Energy. She is a board member of  The Foundation for Research into Economics and the Environment (a.k.a. FREE). This organization seems to be very pro big oil, as its chairperson, John Baden, is a past member of the National Petroleum Council.

As the article points out, Judge Clement’s picture is on the website, she is a board member. This group is funded by Big Oil and takes luxurious junkets yearly, one of the last ones being to Montana, it was estimated by an independent group that the cost per individual of that trip was 10,000 dollars a head. It is not clear where all of the funding for this group comes from but it is clear that, at least in part, it is funded by big oil. One of the major financial contributors is Exxon/Mobil.

Apparently sometime in 2005, Judge Andre M. Davis was a board member of this same group and someone filed a formal complaint citing the obvious conflict of interest. Judge Davis requested an opinion from the Committee on Codes of Conduct of the Judicial Conference of the United Stated District Court. Their opinion was issued on March 30, 2005 and it clearly explained that the honorable judge was violating several rules by being on the board of FREE. In a nut shell, the opinion was that the judge’s service on the board of this group calls into question the judge’s partiality on certain issues. Since the group is funded in part by “Big Oil” who would you think the judge would favor in a court case?

 The article goes on to explain that Douglas Kendall, the President of the Constitutional Accountability Center in Washington, DC, wrote to Clement pointing out the Judicial Conference of the United States had ruled that joining FREE’s board was against its code of conduct, she did not respond. Click here to read the letter to Judge Clement dated December 9, 2010.

She is still a member to this day and you can see a picture of her here, she is on the Board of DirectorsJUDGE EDITH CLEMENT FINANCIAL DISCLOSURES AND BP STOCK


If you look at Judge Clements 2011 financial disclosures here is a l link to them you will see how vested she is an energy stocks, specifically Vanguard which is as I understand is one of the largest stockholders of BP stock in the United States. Please understand, I am not saying any of the Vanguard mutual funds she owns has BP Stock in them, but should`nt this and her relationship with FREE at the very least be looked into.

Top Mutual Fund Holders of BP Stock according to Yahoo Finance.

Franklin Custodian Funds-Income Fund
Vanguard/Wellington Fund Inc.
Vanguard/Windsor II 15,549,869
Vanguard Specialized-Energy Fund
DFA International Value Series
American Mutual Fund Inc
Invesco Comstock Fd 4,826,424
American Beacon Large Cap Value Fd
Hartford Capital Appreciation Fund
Vanguard/Windsor Fund Inc

 

 Why does this matter?

In the judicial system of the United States, judges are required to recuse themselves (remove themselves from participating in a case), not only when they are biased, but even when they may appear biased to a neutral observer. This appearance-based recusal standard is intended to ensure the judge’s impartiality in resolving disputes, to protect the judiciary’s reputation, and to instill public confidence in the fairness of the courts.

 Just a side note here, George Busch appointed her, we know who he stands with, and that is Big Oil. Judge Clement also owned BP stock as late as 2009.

At this point, it appears many are questioning the impartiality of Judge Clement with regard to the BP case.

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The BP Settlement is Back ON

BP Settlement BP Settlement Resumes

I am pleased to tell everyone that the  BP SETTLEMENT  will resume. When? We really don`t know, but we are a whole lot closer. The 5th circuit judges as a majority, ruled in favor of Judge Barbier`s previous decisions. I speak for many when I tell you how pleased we all are.

We Thank The 5TH Circuit for actually “Making it Right” and for Judge Barbier and Patrick Juneau for having it RIGHT the whole time. We further appreciate Judge Barbier and Patrick Juneau for sticking to their guns, and holding BP accountable.

The Fifth Circuit Judges “Made it Right” by lifting the stay for Business Economic Losses or BEL`s imposed by a previous 5TH Circuit Panel.

BP was in a no lose position

Either BP could  stall the settlement,  or get it thrown out, they stalled. As BP stalled the settlement for the last several months, you need to wonder how much money BP accrued through its holdings during that time. How much money did BP save during this period, and how much did BP make with the money they should have been paying oil spill claims with.

Barbier and Juneau had it Right from the Start

Juneau and Judge Barbier  had it right from the beginning. BP had made an agreement that showed causation through the V test and other models and they were bound by the terms of that agreement.

In reality all this is was, was another stall tactic by BP.

There is no doubt that we’ve seen this before during the GCCF days and the BP settlement era. What it comes down to is, it just takes more time for people to get paid, and some people with VALID BP Claims will just let their claims go, and let BP off the hook, , they wore them down, don`t let them.

Some BP Claims /CPA`s /Processors/Attorneys/have Quit handling BP Claims

As part of the collateral damage many groups just could not afford to process BP claims anymore, or just elected not to. It is difficult to justify a continual expenditure on BP claims that just don`t seem to get paid. By BP continually stalling it, put many groups in a tough financial position.

Other issues are that many CPA groups, specifically the smaller ones are not staffed to handle BP claims and the regular accounting load. and these guys are now heading into tax season.

If you are a a group or firm that needs help with it`s BP Claims Case load call 1-800-BP-CLAIM. We have other processors and attorney`s that would be happy to work something out with you.
The  BP claims processes was meant to to get people paid. Plain and simple, not get blocked by BP every step of the way.
BP`s strategy revealed  they would use of the Delay, Deny and Defend strategy.  This is the standard strategy by unscrupulous insurance companies and BP.

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BP Settlement Update

BP Settlement Entire BP Settlement Appealed by BP

Monday, November 4, arguments were made by BP to the Federal Appeals Court regarding last year’s initial approval of the Deepwater Horizon Settlement. The BP Settlement was put in place to compensate businesses and individuals along the Gulf Coast who took economic losses in relation to the oil spill.

What does the BP Settlement want to accomplish?

BP is trying to renege on the terms they originally agreed to, which would therefore put a total end to the settlement. This appeal is separate from a ruling made last month that is forcing BP and the Plaintiff Steering Committee to create new guidelines for the financial calculations of certain BP Settlement Business Claims. BP made this appeal because they believe that if the new calculation guidelines are not in their favor, the entire settlement should be thrown out.

The Arguments in Court

BP continues to claim that the current settlement terms are being misinterpreted by Judge Barbier and the Claims Administrator, Patrick Juneau. The Plaintiff Steering Committee, however, states that BP simply underestimated the actual costs of the settlement and the amount of claimants that would be eligible to file claims.

The judges handling the appeal gave no time frame on how soon they would issue a ruling.  However, a lawyer for BP did mention that the judges may want to wait to make a decision until the new business claim calculations are agreed upon.

The Truth about the BP Settlement

Have there been claims that have been paid that did not deserve it? It is a possibility. The way the BP Settlement is set up, businesses need only exhibit a certain revenue pattern to prove their eligibility to receive compensation. Technically, a business that made more money in 2010 than in any other year could be eligible to receive compensation.

BP continues to claim there have been numerous fraudulent claims that have been filed. The way the settlement was set up may allow some claims to qualify even if their loss was not spill related.  However, if the claims display the correct revenue pattern and are located within a designated economic loss zone, they qualify and there is nothing fraudulent about that. BP agreed to the initial terms and should have foreseen and properly estimated the true cost of the settlement.

We do not think it is fair for businesses that were not truly affected by the spill to receive compensation. Is it fair that businesses who actually made more money in 2010 have received settlements? We don’t think so. Should the calculation terms be re-reviewed? We think so, but we also think that the entire settlement should not be thrown out. The Deepwater Horizon Settlement is a major advancement to its predecessor The Gulf Coast Claims Facility. The parameters of the GCCF’s payouts were highly questionable, while the Deepwater Horizon Settlement guidelines are crystal clear.

What is the best option for all parties involved?

The Entire Deepwater Horizon Settlement should not come to an end.  BP should be able to alter the business claim calculations to create more reasonable offers to claimants. There are still many eligible, legitimate claims that have yet to be paid. Completely abolishing the settlement makes it a lose-lose situation for everyone. We have faith that the courts will keep the settlement in place and correct the business calculation parameters to reach a happy medium between BP and the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee.

As always we are here to help you, the people of the Gulf. At the moment the future of business claims is up in the air until rulings are made in court. Most Individual, VoO and Seafood Compensation claims continue to move forward, while the processing of business claims has come to a temporary halt. We process claims for Attorney’s throughout the country and can help you receive the BP settlement you deserve.  Call today if you would like to begin a claim or have questions on a claim you already have pending. We will do whatever we can to help. Check back frequently for the most recent news on the BP Settlement.

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BP Claims: Get Compensated!

If you have been affected by the 2010 oil spill, then you may qualify for compensation from BP claims.

BP Claims Oil SpillMillions of people have been hurt by the oil spill, and the effects are being felt to this day. The effects of the oil spill are still evident in the surrounding environment and the impact it has on the lifestyles of the people living around the gulf.

People have been affected directly or indirectly. While some have lost their wages, other people continue to watch their habitat waste away. Birds and sea life were not spared either when the explosion of an oil rig in the deep sea occurred.

BP Claims: History of the Oil Spill and Resulting BP Claims

The explosion took place about fifty miles of the shore of Louisiana. The deep water horizon oil spill is the worst spill to ever occur after the Exxon Valdez Oil spill that took place in 1989. 2010 saw the worst oil spill to ever occur in the history of the U.S.

Eleven of the oil rig workers were killed in the explosion. Later, BP was found guilty of manslaughter in court and fined heavily amongst other counts mentioned in the case.

After the oil leaked into the ocean, it did not take long for it to reach the shores. The fragile marshland near the mouth of the Mississippi river was heavily covered by oil a few weeks after the spill. Soon after, the entire Gulf felt the effects of the oil spill. Dead animals of the sea and the birds were washed ashore. Some animals and birds were alive but covered in oil. The damage to the environment and marine life was extensive.

All fishing activity within a certain radius came to a halt. There was no way anyone could fish in such murky and grossly polluted waters. It did not take long for the environmental management body to put a restriction on fishing and soon after, extend it due to the magnitude of the oil spill before it was contained temporarily.

For more information go to our BP Settlement Facebook page.

BP Claims Timeline

bp settlementIn such cases where people’s lives are affected, there never lacks a legal battle. It did not take long for people to take action against BP for the damage caused to their property and livelihood. This is the foundation for BP claims.

The BP claims still trickle in and are compensated if they are found to be legitimate. We encourage you to find out if you are eligible to receive a settlement if you have been affected by the 2010 oil spill. Launching a BP claim will get you adequate financial compensation that can help you cope with the after effects of the 2010 oil spill.

BP Claims: Reported Side effects of the BP Oil Spill

Among the effects on the residents and cleanup workers of the gulf, is an outbreak of skin rashes caused by the excessive use of oil dispersant. While the bacteria might have been useful in the oil clean up exercise following the massive spill, the residents of the surrounding region were affected and had to seek medical intervention.

The oil spill also exposed the residents to carcinogenic chemicals such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which cause cancer. The use of Corexit as an oil dispersant increased this exposure to carcinogens by 40 times.

In 2012, a survey done on the health effects of the oil spill on cleanup workers showed that respiratory problems, ENT problems and other serious effects were identified. More serious effects include:

· Vomiting episodes

· Skin irritation

· Burning and lesions

· Confusion

· Short term memory loss

· Kidney and Liver damage

· Nervous system damage

· Central nervous system damage

· Hypertension

· Miscarriages

These are the known effects of exposure to environments contaminated with oil residue.

If you have experienced any of these effects, do not hesitate to contact us for help. You may be eligible to file BP claims that may earn you compensation.

How Filing BP Claims will help you.

By having your BP claims processed through our network, you are taking charge of your future. Some effects of the exposure to oil may manifest in the future generation and it is important to leave a stable financial ground for expected effects from this exposure.

If you are already experiencing medical issues from being affected by the spill, the compensation will go a long way in helping to offset medical bills and take care of any future medical expenses.

If your property or livelihood was curtailed by the spill, you need help to support your family before you can get back on your feet. If your livelihood has been completely disrupted, you may get enough compensation to get you through the rough patch and sustain your family in the process.

It is BP’s fault for neglecting its rig and failing to provide adequate safety measures in its operations. The company is owning up to their mistake by securing a settlement fund for all affected parties. Do not fail to claim your share.

Attorneys for your BP Claims

Our network specializes in handling cases that involve personal injury. If your property was affected by the oil spill, then you may qualify for compensation in the BP claims. If you are also experiencing a change in health due to the exposure to the chemicals associated with the oil spill, do not fail to file BP claims with us. We will help you get your health back on track through the compensation you receive to cover medical care, now and in the future.

BP claims are meant to earn you compensation for your troubles. Do not suffer in silence. We will process any eligible BP claims for you. Our consultations are free. BP claims have earned many victims of the spill compensation. You may qualify too.

If you feel that you qualify for any BP claims, do not hesitate to contact us. Simply call us at 1-800-BP-CLAIM or complete our online form and we will contact you within 24 hours. We work with attorneys who can get you maximum compensation for your BP claims.

BP Business Claims Halted

BP Business Claims Halted for Calculation Reviews

bp business claimThe 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans directed Judge Barbier, to halt payouts on some BP Business Claims. BP asked the court to make the halt because they believe the Deepwater Horizon Claims Administrator, Patrick Juneau, has misinterpreted the settlement agreement and has been calculating business claims incorrectly.

 

Until recently, BP has unsuccessfully attempted to get the settlement agreement rewritten. On October 2nd, they were finally able to get business claim payments frozen so that the accountant calculation methods can be reviewed to make sure that Juneau is closely following the language of the settlement agreement. BP believes the current calculation methods allow claimants to receive payments that are too large, and that payments are being made to businesses that were not affected by the oil spill. BP wants businesses to submit their financials on an accrual basis for BP business claims.  This is not required under the settlement at this time.  They are concerned that revenues should be reported on accrued basis and not when payment was received.

 

In October BP had questioned the settlement in regards to how they are processing cash based accounting claims.  Because the settlement does not specify that a certain accounting method must be used they have always accepted whatever the claimant had consistently used.  BP did not file any complaints at that time.  Again in November BP supported the final approval of the settlement guidelines and seemed to be happy with the way claims were processing.  They signed this document and should not be able to add or take away from it.  In December BP started expressing their concerns to the Administrator.  After two failed attempts to change the settlement BP has gone to the Appeals court.  On October 2nd they finally won and the settlement is being looked at again.

 

I believe that if we re-write the already signed and executed settlement we are opening a can of worms that could potentially cause even more delays in settlements being paid. If BP gets the chance to change the settlement then someone needs to be fighting to get the dreaded and impossible customer mix test thrown out.  If businesses are going to have to go and change their accounting from cash to accrual basis then will they still be considered contemporaneously kept documentation?   If BP gets the chance to spread income over a period of months does that mean people can take their yearly income and expenses and divide them by 12 to complete their profit and losses? Why does BP get to rewrite the settlement and retail stores and restaurants who are obviously tourist driven fall short of qualifying due to the fact they cannot account for 100% of their income by name and address?

 

BP has yet again figured out a way to screw the Gulf Coast residents, delay payments and earn a little extra interest on the funds that still have not been paid out to those who deserve it.  BP should be stuck with what they signed and shame on the appeals court for allowing them to weasel more time to delay payments.

 

BP has won this round, but in the end, the people of the Gulf who were so devastatingly affected should receive the payments they deserve.

Although this is bad news for some claimants, we believe people that were not affected by the spill should not be able to receive compensation.  As much damage as BP has caused, we know that some claimants and attorneys are working the system for all its worth.

For more information go to our Facebook Page.

 

What does this mean for existing BP business claims?

 

We don’t know yet exactly what the new calculation changes are going to be, but we do know if given the chance BP will continue to try and change things to help themselves not the Gulf Coast Residents they screwed over three years ago. We will all have to wait and see what BP, the Plantiff Steering Committee and Juneau come up with next.

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