BP Settlement News
As former FBI Director Louis Freeh continues an investigation of alleged fraud occurring behind the scenes of the court supervised settlement program, the Attorneys for BP have asked for a temporary suspension on all payments until this internal investigation has been resolved. This BP Settlement News was reported July 16, 2013.
What does this mean for the claimants? If BPs request is granted, those who have received offers may have their payments stalled indefinitely. This also means that claims that are pending, or under review, may have to wait longer to eventually receive a settlement.
Why is BP doing this?
It seems they will do just about anything to stall payment to their claimants.
BP Settlement Process
First the claim gets filed, and then its sits in the Deepwater Horizon review process for up to six months. At this point, the settlement issues an incompleteness notice. It may be asking for one missing pay stub, or a breakdown of expenses from monthly profit and loss statements. This is a road block, it is frustrating and discouraging and that is BPs intent. After the claimant submits the missing documentation, the claim goes back into the queue, waiting to begin review again. BOOM, another three months go by and the claim receives a follow-up incompleteness notice, asking for more missing documentation, or even worse, documentation that has already been submitted. What BP is ultimately trying to do is stall payment.
If the claim passes causation and has complete and valid documentation that meets the guidelines of the settlement, it will likely receive an eligibility notice. BUT, BP still may issue an appeal on the notice for any number of reasons. These can include calculation errors in the settlements accounting, issues with tax reconciliation, inconsistencies and anomalies in financial data and the list goes on and on. Most of the claims BP Appeals are valid payable claims that again, they are just trying to stall payment on. The appeal process is frustrating and slow moving, it can last over six months.
What BP is doing is unfair. Why are they trying to stall payment? They figure the more road blocks they throw at claimants, the more frustration and aggravation they will cause, which eventually leads many people to throw in the towel on their claims. This is exactly what they want. They have not made the claims process easy, they have made it nearly impossible. The longer their money sits in the bank, the longer it will collect interest, so they can continue to pay their share holders.
BP has continually tried to eliminate certain categories of claimants from the settlement, even though they are the ones who created these settlement guidelines. In my opinion, there is not one type of business that has not been affected either directly or indirectly by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill incident. Those that made their living on the water were the most hard hit, while businesses that depended on tourism and the patronage of locals were no longer producing the revenue of the past.
All we can do is hope BPs request does not get approved; these claimants have been waiting long enough to get the help they need to get back on their feet. BP still has a long way to go when it comes to rebuilding the environment and economy they destroyed; eventually they will have to pay. Check back regularly for the most updated BP Settlement News, or visit our sister site here.
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Britt Rader Claims Consultant
BP Claims Advisors LLC