In December 21, 2012, a class action settlement related to the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill was granted final approval by Federal U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier. The Deepwater Horizon Court‐supervised Settlement Program is estimated to provide $8.5 billion to qualifying businesses and individuals in the Gulf Coast area. However, there is no cap on the amount that BP may pay under the settlement.

Many businesses and medical practices in the region have not examined the details of the Settlement Agreement because of their lack of proximity to the Gulf Coast. This could be a very costly mistake for medical practices located in the Settlement’s “Gulf Coast Areas”. Answering the below questions will help determine whether your business qualifies.

  1. Was your practice headquartered in or did your practice have a location along the West Coast of Florida, the Florida Panhandle, or anywhere in Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama at any time during the period April 20, 2010 through April 16, 2012?
  2. Did your practice experience a decline in gross revenue in 2010 as compared to 2007, 2008 and/or 2009 gross revenue?
  3. Did your practice experience a slight rebound in 2011 gross revenue compared to 2010 gross revenue?

If you answered “Yes” to all three questions, there is a strong likelihood that your practice qualifies to receive economic damages from the Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Settlement. Some frequently asked questions include:

Do I have to sue BP in order to be paid damages?

No, filing a claim under the Settlement does not involve entering into a lawsuit.

Is every type of industry covered by the Settlement?

Most industries are eligible under the terms of the Settlement. However, there are some excluded industries including certain financial institutions, gaming businesses, insurance entities, investment funds and financial vehicles, defense contractors, governmental entities, any entity selling or marketing BP‐branded fuel, any business in the oil and gas industry and real estate developers.

How long can I wait to file a Settlement claim for my business?

You must file your claim no later than April 22, 2014.

How much would the Settlement’s economic damages be for my business?

Calculating the Settlement damages can be a complex accounting exercise, spanning through 60 months of financial history. While the exact amount of the claim cannot be identified until the number‐crunching is performed, we help our clients develop a conservative estimate of what their damages might be.

What if I don’t think my business was affected by the oil spill?

The Settlement committee authorized sophisticated economic studies in order to pinpoint the exact geographic areas of the country that were economically damaged due to the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. While you may not feel your business was affected by the oil spill, the fact that your business is located in an affected geographic region means that there were cumulatively less dollars circulating in your area after the oil spill which inevitably resulted in lost revenues and profits.

How can I know for sure if my business qualifies under the Settlement?
On a complimentary basis, we can assist you in determining if your business qualifies under the terms of the Settlement agreement. We will need to know where your business is physically located as well as what industry your business is in. We will need you to supply us with your company’s monthly gross revenues from January 2007 through December 2011 so that we can perform the gross revenue decline and rebound causation testing.

Since the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on April 20, 2010, our Firm has been working with clients to prepare and present claims for damages. We have a proven process in place with dedicated, experienced resources assisting clients with claims. Please contact your Warren Averett advisor or Sae Evans to discuss the possibility of a claim for your medical practice or business.