Review Of The Deepwater Horizon Settlement

First I want to say how surprise I am seeing how well run the Deepwater Horizon Settlement is compared to how terrible the GCCF was done (BP run with puppet Feinberg). The numbers of payments made in a year 2.5 billion dollars and offers made in a year 3.7 billion dollars. That is quite impressive. I also want to mention how well they have ramped up after starting real slow in the Summer and Autum 2012 they have really processed some claims the last 6 month. In December 2012 they where at 20,000 notices given in a month and in May/June 2013 they are at almost 40,000 notices per month. That is impressive.

First we saw mostly seafood claims and VOO claims being processed but now we are seeing a good mix of business losses and real estate claims getting notices also. Even the Appeal process have worked really well, following the letter of the settlement and the changes the judge has approved the appeals process is running really well for us.

Now I wish I could keep writing nice things about the Deepwater Horizon settlement because that would mean that everybody was getting paid, but there are still some problems that I will outline here.

Individual In The Deepwater Horizon Settlement

Now here is the problem, we are seeing 31,000 people filing a claim against BP but most are coming up incomplete as they cannot get all the documents together to file a correct claim. Most individuals do not get approved in the Deepwater Horizon Settlement. I would say that most individuals that are waiting to get paid or have received an incomplete notice should visit a Deepwater Horizon Claims center. I did just over 6 month ago and they are very nice there, they will help you with what documents are needed and what you need to provide to file your claim. Now you may ask if my claim has been paid, and I will have to tell you NO. Because as you might know I live on the beach in Navarre, FL and on the Deepwater Horizon Settlement maps of my property there where oil right up to my property on the east side and oil right up to my property on the west side but of course where my property is on the beach there where no oil. So I ask the nice people at the Deepwater Horizon Settlement center in Ft. Walton beach about what could be done. They told me about these government maps that I should submit with my claim, showing them that in fact there where oil on my property. I did that and now I have been in “expert map review since February” so I am confident they are taking a real real long look at it.

Back to individuals that are incomplete or have not gotten a notice yet. Visit the Deepwater Horizon Settlement centers near you go into them and give them your claims number and let them look up on the computer what it says is missing or what you need to do to move your claim to a payment status. Here is a list of the local centers.

Call them first to see if you need an appointment else just visit them and see what they say, bring your drivers license and claim number if you have it.

For individuals this is the only way to get paid if your documents are not complete, find out what is missing and correct it. If you wait you will not get paid.

The Ugly Face Of BP In The Deepwater Horizon Settlement

The reason this is working so well is because its court supervised and not run by a BP puppet like Kent Feinberg. What a joke and the biggest joke is he keeps getting jobs like this because everybody things he is doing a great job. He just got the task of dividing the money out for the Boston Marathon Bombing. What a joke he is but he will get his judgement when he meets his maker its not for me to decide.

So the Ugly face of BP will come out really soon. First if you have not noticed their advertising campaign both in print and on TV that they think the Deepwater Horizon Settlement is unfair to them. Yes they sign it but they also told their shareholders that it would only cost them 8.6 billion. I think I told all you guys when they sign that settlement agreement it would cost them no less then 15 billion for the settlement and another 20-30 billion on the trial that will follow. But since BP told their shareholders 8.6 billion they have now appealed the settlement to the 5th circuit where they hope and pray I am sure the terms of the settlement and the ruling of judge Barbier will be reversed. (I don’t think so) but we will see the ruling is in August 2013.

Also if by chance they win one could imagine that BP would go after people that have already been paid and ask for the money back. They would do this with the appeal win in the 5th circuit but if they won the PSC (plaintiff steering committee) would appeal it to the Supreme court and it would take another 1-2 years. But there is a chance that BP would file lawsuits against people already paid by the BP settlement to recover money that according to them should not have been paid out. We will have to see.

Another Ugly face of BP is all those TV ads with everything is OK now in the Gulf Of Mexico and we have cleaned up and spend all this money doing it. I am sure these ads are designed to tamper with the jury pool so when all these OPA trials comes up 1-2 years from now the jury will only remember the TV spots that everything in the Gulf is good again. The only way that plan will work is if they get the judge to move the trial from the coastal areas else the jury pool will no exactly how BP and the GCCF screwed around for 2 years and gave people $5,000 at Christmas time if they would sign off. That little stunt probably saved BP 1-2 billion dollars. I see many $5,000 Quick Pay that would have been $100,000 in the settlement. SO if you ever get picked for Jury duty remember what happened and how BP screwed the locals.

Last section and I promise I will be done talking. Another Ugly face of BP is how they hired people from other states to do clean up work and not locals. The locals can thank God for that but at the time people where mad about it. Here is the real reason why. BP did not want the local people to get sick as it would point towards the clean up chemicals used like Corexit. So if they hired people from all over it would not look like a concentrated mass of sick people. There would be sick people all over and they could argue it was other things that made them sick and not the clean up work.

People that live in Grand Isle was not as lucky and today the storries from there are terrible and I really feel bad for them for the problems the clean up and spraying Corexit has done to them. I hope they get together with a good lawyer and file suit for the problems it has caused them.

Opt Out Or Opt In Deepwater Horizon Settlements

I hope by now you have an idea if you are staying in the Deepwater Horizon Settlements or opting out. If you do nothing you are automatic staying in the Deepwater Horizon Settlements and waiving your right to trial by a jury. You have to accept what the Deepwater Horizon Settlements offer you.

This decision is yours alone to make and I hope reading my blog and others have helped you reach the right decision.

Below I will provide details of Opt out information just because if you do nothing you are in and don’t need help but if you want to opt out follow the guide below.

Guide to Deepwater Horizon Settlements Opt Out.

Firs to be sure remember this, each claim stands on its own so each claim needs an opt out form. A personal claim, a business claim and maybe a real estate claim. Its normal that people have more than one claim and you would need to opt out all claims with different opt out paperwork.

Write a letter that stat states the following for each claim you have. Please include in the letter the person or entity your are opting out.

Example Opt out letter.

” I Kelly Smith, 5432 main street, Pensacola,Florida. Social security # xxx-xx-xxxx  wish to be excluded from the Economic Class.”



Kelly Smith

Make one letter for your personal claim, one for your business claim and so on. Send it off before November 1 2012 to:

Deepwater Horizon Court-Supervised Settlement Program
Exclusions Department
P.O. Box 222
Hammond, LA 70404-0222

This will get you opted out of the Deepwater Horizon Settlements / BP Settlement and you are now free to go and get you an attorney to file suit against BP in the courts.

What happens after Opt Out ?

After you have send off the opt out letter keep a copy for yourself and for your attorney as he/she needs to see that you did that. Now you need to find yourself and attorney that will file your case with the MDL and take it to trial. Fill out the free case review if you need an attorney. The attorney will then file with OPA for you and after OPA if there is not results the case will be set for trial.

What to expect before trial for your BP Claims

This is going to be the most interesting part of the BP Claims process when the attorneys can set a trial date and work up the case and take depositions and get ready for trial. No attorney will tell you this and since I am not one I will tell you this right now. The money you can get out of BP on a settlement before trial is going to be crazy. I suspect a $100,000 offer in the BP Settlement will turn into a $1,000,000 settlement before trial.

Now why is this ?

I will answer that with another fact, in the Texas city Explosion BP paid victims something like 1.5 Billion dollars (6,000 victims) but they paid their defense counsel something like 2.1 billion dollars. Now expect over 50,000 cases to go to trial, can you see what expenses BP will have in their defense counsel to go to trial all over the gulf in different cities. Another reasons BP will settle at any price is their stock price. If BP goes to a public trial with a shrimper or fisherman and have to listen to how they did not pay this man for 3 years when he clearly had a loss. The bad publicity will directly affect the BP stock price. With every $1 BP share prices goes down the company losses 3 Billion dollars. BP will do anything and everything to settle as many cases before trial at what ever the number. Now attorneys will not tell you this as they can’t promise you anything because they can get it trouble for it later, but you do the math on what I just wrote and find where BP has a chance to get out without huge settlement numbers.

Big Business Cases and Seafood Harvesting and Processing

One could speculate in a big business or seafood harvest or processing claim that was well documented and for business and people that have the time to wait for the real big money. If you are in this group on people and want to talk to me more about what you should be doing send me an email at with your phone number and I will personally call you back and have a talk about your claim with you. I will guide you through the jungle and get you with the best people for trial against BP.

Now remember if you do nothing and you are a class member, meaning your are in the zone of Florida  gulf coast, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana you are automatic in the class settlement and do not have the right to trial unless you opt out.

Now for many people with smaller claims the right thing might be to stay in the class settlement and if you need help with filing paperwork and forms we can help with that as well.