January 31, 2013 - Although the BP Oil Spill happened back in April 2010, local business owners may still be eligible to seek financial compensation through the Court Supervised Settlement Program. According to attorney and BP Claims Specialist, Scott Carruthers “what I'm finding out of the businesses I've talked to and worked with, over half of them are qualifying for a claim that they didn't know that they had."
On June 4, 2012 the class action settlement took affect and the Court Supervised Settlement Program (CSSP) opened the door for businesses in the Big Bend to qualify for compensation from the BP Oil Spill even if they were not directly affected. Carruthers says "this is not a taxpayer funded program, this program is funded 100 percent by BP and all the claims that are paid out of this fund are not paid at the expense of other businesses who have claims. There is no cap on this fund."
A wide range of businesses are eligible if you can meet the criteria that has been established in the settlement. First, passing a causation test and second, showing at least a partial rebound in profits in 2011 compared to 2010. Claims Administrator for the Deepwater Horizon Settlement, Patrick Juneau, says "the significance of it is, is an educational thing is to advise people to know what their rights are and once you know what your rights are, this is not a federal program, and you have filed a claim, then we are obliged to process that claim and if you meet the eligibility requirements, is to pay those claims."
Juneau says they have promised those who have filed claims and qualified, 1.7 billion dollars since the program started last June. He says, "when in doubt, file a claim. It doesn't cost you a nickel to file a claim. We've got the staff, we've got the personnel to go into the details of the work and if they file it and if it was what that agreement says we've got to have, then we are obliged and we will in fact process the claim. There's no doubt about that."
According to Carruthers, any business that was in business at the time of the spill in north Florida is potentially eligible for a settlement, whether you pursue to file a claim or not is up to you. For more information on filing a claim, contact Scott Carruthers at (850) 766-1471 or by Email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The website is www.bpbucks.com.