Many thousands of current and former Gulf Coast residents who suffered damage as a result of the 2010 BP oil spill will have to decide soon whether to participate in a class action settlement, this despite the fact that many still are not aware of what the proposal actually offers.
The Deepwater Horizon Claims Center, created by a federal judge overseeing all the spill litigation, reported this week that a whopping 60,000 businesses and individuals have filed claims for medical or economic damages. Of those, only 3,347, or about 5 percent, have received settlement offers since the Claims Center opened in early June.
BP and a group of plaintiffs agreed earlier this year to a settlement that many estimate will end up costing the company around $7.8 billion, though the deal is clear that no cap will be placed on how much the oil company could end up paying. Under the terms of the agreement, eligible plaintiffs potentially include hundreds of thousands of residents of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and Florida. Those filing claims will have until November 1, 2012 to decide whether to opt out of the deal and pursue claims of their own.
The current glacial pace of the settlement process is making the decision a very difficult one for many claimants. After all, how can a person decide whether to opt in or out if the Claims Center has not yet told them what their offer is? The Claims Center has said they hope to issue settlement offers on 30 percent of the claims by October 1.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys have been very critical of the process, noting that the system was designed to improve the preexisting claims center which was seen as opaque and slow to respond. The fact that only 5% of cases have been dealt with is particularly upsetting to some involved in the process. Though the settlement has not been formally approved, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier of New Orleans has given the plan a tentative approval and set a hearing for November 8, 2012 to hear testimony before making a final decision.
If you’ve been impacted by the BP oil spill, IMMEDIATELY contact the Mississippi oil spill lawyers at Kilpatrick & Philley at (601) 856-7800. Currently, we are accepting VoO claims, claims for Commercial Fisherman, claims for Business Lost Income andPersonal Lost Income, claims for Clean-Up Workers, claims for Recreational Fisherman, and claims for Owners of Waterfront Property. Call us today to ensure that you are not left behind and we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve!
See Our Related Blog Posts:
WE ARE HAVING ANOTHER BP OIL SPILL MEETING IN GAUTIER, MS ON SEPTEMBER 16, 2012 FROM 11am-6pm
WE ARE HAVING A BP OIL SPILL MEETING IN OCEAN SPRINGS ON SUNDAY (8/5/2012) FROM 12-7PM