ECONOMIC & PROPERTY DAMAGE CLAIMS
MDL 2179 In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010 – Official Court-Authorized Website.
Fifth Circuit Ruling Affirming the District Court’s Order Approving the Settlement - January 10, 2014 (Posted March 6, 2014). The District Court issued an order on December 21, 2012, certifying the Economic and Property Settlement Class and granting final approval of the Settlement Agreement after addressing and rejecting each of the Objectors' arguments. The Objectors appealed the District Court's order citing various provisions of Rule 23 and requested that the Fifth Circuit remand with instructions to withdraw approval from the Settlement Agreement and to decertify the class. Additionally, BP argued that two Policy Announcements issued by the Claims Administrator regarding the interpretation and application of the Settlement Agreement had subsequently brought the Settlement Agreement into violation of Rule 23, the Rules Enabling Act, and Article III of the U.S. Constitution.
A three judge panel for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals considered each of the arguments presented by the Objectors and BP. On January 10, 2014, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the District Court's order approving the Settlement Agreement and certifying the class by a 2-1 majority. You can access a copy of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling
District Court Ruling in Response to Remand of BEL Issues (Posted January 15, 2014). The District Court issued an Order on 12/24/13 addressing the issues remanded from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding BEL Claims. The District Court ordered the Claims Administrator to adopt and implement an appropriate protocol or policy for handling BEL claims in which the claimant’s financial records do not match revenue with corresponding variable expenses. Additionally, with respect to how causation is determined under the Settlement, the Court found that whether a business economic loss is “as a result of” the Deepwater Horizon Incident for purposes of the Settlement is determined exclusively by Exhibit 4B. The Court, however, left in place the preliminary injunction as amended on 12/5/13, pending further action by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Click here to read an Alert with additional information.
Review of Business Economic Loss Claims in Response to the 5th Circuit Court Ruling and District Court’s Orders (Posted December 17, 2013). The District Court issued a Preliminary Injunction on 10/18/13 instructing the Claims Administrator to continue the temporary hold on Business Economic Loss (BEL) and Individual Economic Loss (IEL) claims that present an issue of revenue and expense matching. The District Court further instructed the Claims Administrator to process all BEL and IEL claims for which revenue and expense matching is not an issue. Click here to read an Alert with additional information.
Subsistence Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number Requirement and Verification Process (Posted November 15, 2013). After reviewing comments from the Parties, the Claims Administrator adopted rules and criteria for the verification of the identities of claimants and claimed recipients of Seafood or Game in the Subsistence Program. Click here to read an Alert with this information.
Profit and Loss Template (Posted on September 26, 2013). The Claims Administrator approved a monthly Profit and Loss (P&L) Template to assist the program in analyzing P&Ls for Business Economic Loss claimants and processing these claims in a more efficient manner. The template does not satisfy the requirement of contemporaneous P&Ls and use of the template is optional. Claimants are not required to submit this template to satisfy the documentation requirements of Exhibit 4A. Click here to view instructions for use of the P&L template and click here for an Excel version of the P&L template.
Gulf Seafood and Tourism Promotional Fund (Posted August 15, 2013). To view the Second Round of Grant Recipients, click here.
Removal of View Current/Last Review Screens for Incompleteness Notices (Posted July 17, 2013). Under the Settlement Agreement, the Court’s Order regarding the confidentiality of claim information and the policy adopted by the Claims Administrator after input from Class Counsel and BP on access by Class Members, their counsel, Class Counsel and BP to claims information, the Claims Administrator is not to disclose any information produced in or reflecting the findings by the Claims Administrator during the review of a claim until after we have issued an Eligibility or Denial Notice to the claimant on the outcome of that review. The Claims Administrator recently conducted an audit of all access processes. We have modified the system so that the View Current/Last Review screen will not appear on a claim with an Incompleteness Notice until after we have issued an Eligibility or Denial Notice on the claim. Click here to read the procedure.
Gulf Seafood and Tourism Promotional Fund (Posted June 25, 2013). The announcement of the Promotional Fund has been delayed. The parties have yet to meet on the awarding of the grants. Once we have a new date for the announcement, we will post it on the website under the Alerts Page.
Industry Designation and Zone Information (Posted June 20, 2013). Under the Settlement Agreement, the Court's Order regarding the confidentiality of claim information and the policy adopted by the Claims Administrator after input from Class Counsel and BP on access by Class Members, their counsel, Class Counsel and BP to claims information, the Claims Administrator is not to disclose any information produced in or reflecting the findings by the Claims Administrator during the review of a claim until after we have issued a Notice to the claimant on the outcome of that review. We determine a claimant's Industry Designation and Zone as the first step of the review of all Business Economic Loss and Individual Economic Loss claims. As such, we cannot reveal those findings on a claim until after we have issued a Notice on the claim. Click here to read the procedure.
Announcement of Procedure Regarding Handling Untimely Seafood Claims (Posted June 4, 2013). The deadline to file claims in the Seafood Compensation Program was January 22, 2013. In consultation with the parties and the Seafood Neutral, the Claims Administrator developed a procedure for handling Seafood Compensation Program claims filed after that date. The procedure accommodates certain untimely Seafood claims in limited circumstances. Click here to read the procedure.
Policy Keeper Portal Update (Posted May 8, 2013). On May 7, 2013, the Claims Administrator added 242 policies to the 64 policies that were already available on the Policy Keeper Portal. Click here to read an Alert with instructions for locating this information.
New Incompleteness Notice Response Options (Posted May 1, 2013). Incompleteness Notices and Preliminary Incompleteness Notices for Individual Economic Loss Claims provide a claimant 30 days to submit the requested documents. Until now, if a claimant did not submit sufficient documents on or before the deadline, the Claims Administrator waited to issue a Follow-Up Incompleteness Notice until after the deadline in the Incompleteness Notice or the Preliminary Incompleteness Notice for Individual Economic Loss Claim expired. Going forward, a claimant may waive this waiting period by indicating that he/she has submitted all documents he/she intends to submit. Click here to read an Alert that explains the new process.
Revised Procedure to Process and Pay Third Party Claims and/or Liens (Posted April 24, 2013). Throughout the claims process, DHECC will receive claims and/or liens ("Third Party Claims”) asserted by attorneys, creditors, governmental agencies, or other third parties ("Third Party Claimants”) against the payments to be paid by the Claims Administrator to eligible Claimants. Click here to read an Alert that explains how those claims and/or liens will be processed.
Appointment of Attorney Liens Adjudicator and Approval of Rules Governing Third Party Claims Dispute Resolution Process as to Attorney Fee Liens (Posted April 24, 2013). On April 8, 2013, the Court appointed Judge Jerry A. Brown of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana as the Attorney Liens Adjudicator ("Adjudicator”). Click here for important information.
Treatment of Benchmark Revenue in Boat Captain Claims for Owner-Operators (Posted April 15, 2013). The Historical Revenue Compensation Method of the Seafood Compensation Program provides separate payments to Vessel Owners/Lessees and to Boat Captains working on these vessels. Under the Settlement Agreement, a claimant who both owned or leased a vessel and captained it may file both a Vessel Owner/Lessee and Boat Captain claim. Click here to read an Alert that explains how these claims are compensated.
Announcement of Policy for Processing Incomplete Claims (Posted March 26, 2013). The Claims Administrator has implemented an Incompleteness process that provides claimants with two written Notices informing the claimant about the documents required to complete the claim submission, before the Claims Administrator denies the claim for insufficient documentation. Click here to read this announcement.
Announcement of Claims Administrator's Policy Regarding the Evaluation of Business Economic Loss Claims (Posted March 13, 2013). Click here for important information.
Court Affirms Claims Administrator's Policy for Calculating Compensation on Business Economic Loss Claims (Posted on March 8, 2013). Click here for important information.
Claims Administrator Resumes Processing of All BEL Claims (Posted March 4, 2013). Click here for important information.
Structured Settlement Option (Posted February 15, 2013). Click here to read about the Structured Settlement Option.
Gulf Seafood and Tourism Promotional Fund (Posted January 31, 2013). Click here to read an Alert that explains the Gulf Seafood and Tourism Promotional Fund.
HIPAA - Policy Applicable to Evidence Submitted in Support of Healthcare Business Claims (Posted January 31, 2013). This policy is designed to implement the Causation Requirements for Healthcare Business Claimants located in Zone B, Zone C and/or Zone D and to provide specific rules intended to limit the disclosure of any individual's health information contained in documents or other materials in any physical or electronic form received by the Deepwater Horizon Economic Claims Center (the "DHECC”). Click here to read an Alert that explains the DHECC HIPAA policy in detail.
Acknowledgement of Oral Oyster Harvesting Agreement (GEN-6) Form (Posted January 31, 2013). The Seafood Compensation Program created by the Deepwater Horizon Settlement Agreement requires claimants seeking Oyster Leaseholder Lost Income Compensation to provide "[c]ontracts or agreements between the Oyster Leaseholder and another natural person or entity that harvests oysters from their leaseholds located in Zones A, B or C, as reflected on the Oyster Leasehold Compensation Zone Map.” The Claims Administrator will allow claimants to satisfy the "[c]ontracts or agreements” requirement by submitting an Acknowledgement of Oral Oyster Harvesting Agreement (GEN-6) form to memorialize a previous oral agreement. Click here to read about this new form.
New Re-Review Process Available to Claimants (Posted January 18, 2013). Beginning on January 18, 2013, the Claims Administrator will implement a new Re-Review process to give claimants more options upon receipt of an Eligibility Notice. Click here to read an Alert that explains the new Re-Review process in detail.
Update to Settlement Program Identity Verification Process (Posted January 16, 2013). Click here to read the approved policy regarding the process used by the Settlement Program to verify the identity of each claimant.
Subsistence Criteria Updates (Posted January 12, 2013). After reviewing comments from the Parties, the Claims Administrator has adopted the rules and criteria set out in this Alert for the processing of claims in the Subsistence Program. Any aspects of these rules and criteria that have changed from previous Alerts issued on the Subsistence Program are highlighted in yellow in this Alert. Click here to view the Alert.
- Policy Decision Issued by the Court Regarding Causation (Posted January 10, 2013). Click here to read the approved policy regarding analysis by the Claims Administrator of causation issues for Economic Loss claims.
- Policy Decision Issued by the Court Regarding Non-Profit Entities (Posted January 7, 2013). Click here to read about the process by which the Claims Administrator will process and pay Business Economic Loss Claims from non-profit Entities.
- Approval of the Settlement Agreement and Update on the Deadlines to File Claim Forms (Posted December 29, 2012). The United States District Court in New Orleans entered an Order on December 21, 2012, granting Final Approval to the Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damages Settlement. The Order overruled all objections and approved the Settlement as fair, reasonable and adequate for the Class. The objectors have until January 22, 2013, to appeal the District Court's Final Approval Order to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit if they wish to continue to pursue their objections regarding the Settlement. The Claims Administrator will continue to process claims as quickly as possible as these proceedings develop. The Court's approval of the Settlement Agreement affects the deadlines to file a Claim Form, especially for claims in the Seafood Compensation Program. Click here to view an Alert about these updates.
- Economic and Property Damages Settlement Agreement (Posted December 21, 2012). Click here to read the Order and Reasons and Click here to read the Order and Judgment certifying the Economic and Property Settlement Class and granting final approval of the Economic and Property Damages Settlement Agreement.
- Subsistence Claims Review Updates (Posted November 21, 2012). Click here to read an Alert that explains recent updates to the Subsistence claims review process and eligibility criteria.
- Promotional Fund Final Recommendations (Posted November 9, 2012). To view the 2012 Recipients of the Gulf Tourism and Seafood Promotional Fund, Click here.
- Minimum Age Requirement for Individual Economic Loss and Seafood Program Seafood Crew Claimants (Posted October 31, 2012). The Claims Administrator has adopted a policy to allow eligibility for Individual Economic Loss and Seafood Program Seafood Crew claimants under the age of 16 at the time of the Spill, if the claimant was working lawfully in their state. Click here to read about these changes.
- Estimating the Reasonable Consumption Rates of Subsistence Claimants (Posted October 31, 2012). The Settlement Agreement requires the Claims Administrator to calculate reasonable consumption rates for the various types of fish and game that residents of the Gulf relied upon for nourishment. Click here to view an Alert regarding how reasonable consumption rates will be calculated for Subsistence claims.
- Changes to Document Requirements for Individual Economic Loss and Business Economic Loss Claims (Posted October 26, 2012). The Parties have approved document requirement changes for certain Individual Economic Loss (IEL) and Business Economic Loss (BEL) claims. Click here to read about these changes.
- Business Economic Loss Claims: Preparing Monthly Profit and Loss Statements (Posted October 22, 2012). In support of a Business Economic Loss ("BEL”) claim, Section 4 of Exhibit 4A of the Settlement Agreement Framework requires monthly and annual profit and loss statements, or alternate source documents establishing monthly revenues and expenses for the claimed Benchmark Period, 2010, and if applicable, 2011. Click here to view an Alert from the Claims Administrator to assist claimants in understanding how they can satisfy this required documentation.
- Procedure for Third Party Claims (Posted September 27, 2012). Throughout the claims process, the Claims Administrator will receive claims and/or liens ("Third Party Claims”) asserted by attorneys, creditors, governmental agencies, or other third parties ("Third Party Claimants”) against the payments to be paid by the Claims Administrator to eligible Claimants. Click here to read the Claims Administrator's procedures for processing and paying Third Party Claims and/or Liens.
- Court-Appointed Distribution Agent for the Subsistence Program (Posted September 17, 2012). The Settlement Agreement instructed that the Parties jointly propose and appoint a Court-Appointed Distribution Agent ("CADA”) to oversee the Subsistence Program. The Claims Administrator appointed Christina Hendrick as the CADA and the Director of Subsistence Programs. The Settlement Agreement also directs the Claims Administrator to calculate Subsistence losses for consumption by converting quantities of Seafood and Game into consumable retail products. The Claims Administrator will not pay consumption losses beyond reasonable consumption rates. The Parties approved a formula that will calculate both consumable retail products and reasonable consumption rates. Click here to read an Alert introducing the CADA and explaining Subsistence Loss Calculations.
- How to Accept Awards (Posted September 10, 2012). On August 31, 2012, we changed the procedure for Award Acceptance. Claimants are no longer required to submit an Award Acceptance Form in advance, and prior to receiving their Release. The Release and other necessary documents are now included as an attachment to the Eligibility Notice. Click here for additional information about this important process change.
- Checking Your Claim Status Online (Posted August 31, 2012). Claimants and other users are able to check the status of their claims without having to create a login and password by using the new Check Status Portal. Click here for information about how to use the Check Status Portal.
- Representatives of Minor, Incompetent or Deceased Claimants (Posted August 28, 2012). A Minor Claimant or Incompetent Claimant cannot sign a Registration Form, Claim Form or Release on his or her own behalf. Instead, the Claimant's representative must sign and prove his or her authority to act on the Claimant's behalf. Similarly, a Deceased Claimant's representative must sign the Registration Form, Claim Form, and Release and also prove his or her authority to settle the claim on behalf of all heirs of the Deceased Claimant's estate. Click here to read the Claims Administrator's procedures for processing claims filed on behalf of Deceased, Minor and Incompetent Claimants.
- Reminder of Document Requirements for Claims for Employment-Related Benefits Losses and Reimbursable Search and Training Costs (Posted August 28, 2012). Many of the claims for Employment-Related Benefits Losses and Reimbursable Search and Training Costs that claimants are submitting are missing required documents. Without the supporting documents, the claims cannot be evaluated. Click here to read an Alert reminding all claimants of what documents must be submitted to support these claims.
- SWS-1 to Use to Allocate Past Revenues on Seafood Claims (Posted August 16, 2012). The Claims Administrator developed a Sworn Written Statement (SWS-1) that Vessel Owners, Commercial Fisherman Vessel Lessees, and Boat Captains can use to allocate revenues by catch type, landing site and vessel, as required by the Settlement Agreement for Seafood Program claims. Lawyers can sign this Form for their clients. Any such claimant or lawyer for these types of claimants should Click here to read about this helpful Form.
- Why We Have to Verify Claimant Identity (Posted August 10, 2012). To view the DHECC Alert regarding the Settlement Program Identity Verification Process dated August 8, 2012, Click here.
- Gulf Tourism and Seafood Promotional Fund Procedures (Posted July 30, 2012). To view the July 30, 2012 Gulf Tourism and Seafood Promotional Fund Procedures on how to submit applications to this Fund, Click here.
- Directives from the Claims Administrator on How Lawyers Sign Claim Forms (Posted June 7, 2012). On May 22, 2012, the Claims Administrator issued its Position on Process Issues on this subject. To view the document, Click here.
- Status of the Settlement Program (Posted June 5, 2012). To view a Comment from the Claims Administrator Regarding the Status of the Court-Supervised Settlement Program, Click here.
- Amended Settlement Agreement (Posted May 7, 2012). On May 2, 2012, the Parties filed an Amended Settlement Agreement with the Court. To view the Amended Settlement Agreement, Click here.
- Orders Regarding Implementing the Settlement Agreement:
- On March 8, 2012, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana issued a First Amended Order Creating Transition Process in connection with an Agreement-in-Principle between BP Exploration and Production, Inc. and BP America Production Company and the Interim Class Counsel to settle numerous lawsuits arising out of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. To view the Court's March 8, 2012 First Amended Order Creating Transition Process, Click here.
- On May 22, 2012, the Court issued an Order Regarding Settlement Implementation. Click here to view the Order.
- On May 2, 2012, the Court Preliminarily Approved the Settlement Agreement. To view the Preliminary Approval Order, Click here.
- Deadline for Exclusions to the Settlement Agreement. On August 27, 2012, the Court issued an Order extending the deadline to file and serve Exclusions (Opt-Outs) to the postmark date of November 1, 2012. Click here to view the Order.
- Deadline for Objections to the Settlement Agreement. On August 31, 2012, the Court issued an Order extending the deadline to file and serve Objections to September 7, 2012. Click here to view the Order.