Maritime Matter of the Week

Will The BP Oil Spill Settlement Be Affected By Claimants Opting Out Of The Deal?


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Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. is comprised of attorneys that are nationally-recognized industry leaders in the field of maritime and admiralty law. Our team of lawyers has over a century of combined experience, has successfully handled over 3,000 cases, and has recovered over 300 million dollars in damages for our clients.

Maritime lawyers may be called to action soon regarding a BP oil claims agreement, but proponents of the class-action settlement of claims stemming from the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have expressed confidence that the deal will not be affected by thousands of businesses and individuals opting out of it.

The deadline for claimants to postmark requests to opt out of the multibillion-dollar settlement is Thursday, and according to Patrick Juneau, administrator of the court-supervised claims process, around 2,300 potential plaintiffs have already opted out as of last Wednesday. If an undisclosed number of claimants opt out of the deal, BP has the right to terminate the settlement agreement. However, according to Steve Herman, one of the lead plaintiffs’ attorneys, there is “very little chance” that the deal will fall apart.

“Compared to the thousands and thousands of claims that have been filed, and recognized, the number of opt outs is very low,” said Herman. “In fact, many of the objections are from people who are outside of the settlement and that want to get into the deal.”

Roughly $7.8 billion will be paid by BP to resolve claims stemming from the 2010 oil spill disaster.

“The settlement is a superior alternative to continued lengthy litigation, provides numerous unique claimant-friendly benefits, and fulfills BP’s commitment to pay all legitimate claims stemming from the Deepwater Horizon accident,” said BP spokesman Scott Dean in a statement.

Around 75,000 new claims have been filed since the court-supervised claims process took over for the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. According to Juneau, offers were made to about 11,500 claimants worth a total of more than $861 million and 97 percent have already accepted.

However, there are still thousands of potential claimants that have yet to make a decision and who are unaware of exactly how much they stand to make from the settlement. If eligible claimants opt out of the settlement and choose to pursue their cases individually, the litigation process can take years to resolve.

If you were one of the many crew members and individuals affected by the BP oil spill, turn to our maritime lawyers right away to discuss your options and file a claim. You may be eligible to receive a large settlement, including money damages, lost wages and medical care, and our attorneys will do everything in our power to help you receive the maximum benefits you deserve.

The 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is an example of one of many oil rig accidents. Due to their heavy machinery and potential for accidents, oil rigs can lead to serious injuries for workers and disastrous consequences for the environment. Our veteran team of maritime attorneys has been handling these types of cases since 1971. We will evaluate your case free of charge and help you obtain justice for your pain and suffering.

Contact our maritime lawyers today to discuss your options and get started on your case.

PHOTO SOURCE: The Daily Green

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