First a shout out to my friends in the stone crabbing community on the West coast of Florida and else where. I am moving along with your concerns to the highest levels.
Now let me tell the rest of you guys what this case is about and how other people could be in the same situation as many of the Stone Crabbers in Florida.
The calls from this community started to come in around August of 2011 when it became obvious to the crabbers that the normal crabbing season had failed yet another year after the 2010 oil spill. The reports of no eggs on the crabs that where caught, spells trouble for years to come.
My suggestion to the Stone Crabbers and other groups where the BP settlement is not enough or to groups like the Moratorium workers that are not included in the Settlement.
Go to attorneys now and get your payment though the legal system. The BP Settlement is going to be another one of those one box fits all situations kind of thing. The problems with the stone crabs do not fit in this box and more attention has to be put to your problems.
The same goes for the Casino workers that where left out in the cold on the BP Settlement.
For everybody that are left out in the cold on this BP settlement its important to
Is 2.5 times or even 4 times enough in the BP Settlement ?
That is the question many crabbers are asking them self right now and I am sure there are other industries that has been so hard hit by the BP oil spill that not even 4 years pay will make up for the damages. If the stone crabs are gone or shrimps or oysters are gone 4 years of pay to get out of the business your are in with all the equipment you had to buy over the years to start a new life is really not enough.
I am sure that other business that where hit hard by the BP oil spill or business that where under capitalize have closed down or taken out more loans to support the business. If the BP settlement does not take this fact into account then the settlement offer will be to small for many business.
What To Do If The BP Settlement is not enough ?
As we have talked so much about the settlement I want to try and explain how the road looks for people that cannot or will not take the BP settlement.
First as I hope most people understand by now this new settlement will have an Opt In or Opt Out period where you have to Opt in or Out. There is even talk about now that if you don’t Opt out you are automatically Opt in (I will explain the problems with that in the next section)
Now in the situation of a business or an individual that want to Opt out, they would tell their attorney their wishes and not go into the BP settlement. If the business or individual had already presented their case to the GCCF and refused their offer or gotten denied.
If you have not taken your case to the GCCF your attorney will take you case to BP and present it to them according to OPA and if they can settle it there with a number that works for you then that is great if not the attorney will file suit on the case an a trial date will be set.
How Long Would A Trial Take For BP Claims ?
People that are making an argument for you taking the BP settlement will tell you that trial could 10 -20 years like it did in Alaska. The counter argument would be if everybody takes the BP settlement the courts are free up and will have plenty of time to take your case. Also if the attorney can take the cases out of the MDL and take it to state court in Houston, TX where BP has a place of business again it would be a much faster route.
Another argument would be that once BP has been put on notice with a trial date they would be much more interested to settle your case and not go to trial than worry about an actual trial on your case.
The BP settlement with NO Cap on payments to people with a claim suggest that BP will avoid trial at all cost for their image and business relationship in USA.