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BP Settlement Admin meets with North Alabama businesses re: BP claims

BP claims are discussed in meetings with North Alabama businesses

Although many North Alabama businesses don’t know they can collect money from the BP settlement, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange and BP Settlement Administrator Patrick Juneau are meeting with North Alabama businesses today to explain the BP settlement and the fact that North Alabama businesses may have large BP claims they don’t know about.

Birmingham, Alabama attorney Michael J. Evans, who publishes the blog BP Settlement News, is encouraging North Alabama businesses to attend the meetings with Strange and Juneau.

Michael J. Evans, an attorney representing North Alabama businesses filing BP Settlement claims, said: “Every North Alabama business man and woman who can attend the meetings with the Attorney General and BP Settlement Administrator on Wednesday should do so, because his or her business might be able to collect a large amount of money. Many North Alabama businesses may qualify for large BP Settlement payments without knowing it. For those unable to attend the meetings, they can view a video explaining how the BP settlement applies to North Alabama businesses at the BP settlement website.”

Attorney General Strange and BP Settlement Administrator Juneau will help business owners and individuals understand the eligibility and proof requirements for submitting a BP claim.

Evans said he is concerned that many people will be unable to attend the meetings, which, Evans said, “may be too short.” The meetings are set from 9-10 a.m. at the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce, 301 Second Ave. S.W.; 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County, 225 Church St.; and 3:30-4:30 p.m. at Harbert Center, 2019 Fourth Ave. in Birmingham.

Other Ways for North Alabama Businesses to Find Out if They Have a BP Claim in the BP Settlement

“If a business owner is not able to attend one of the meetings,” Evans said, “that person can get more information from a BP claims news website, or watch a set of videos explaining the BP settlement. Below this paragraph is one of the videos in the BP Settlement Help YouTube channel.

Evans has joined forces with the Birmingham law firms of Yearout & Traylor, P.C. and Gathings Law to handle BP claims for North Alabama businesses. “All of our websites have contact forms that allow businesses to request a free legal review of potential BP claims by an attorney. Business owners may also call the law firms directly. Attorney Gusty Yearout can be reached at 800-226-6116 and Lloyd Gathings can be called at 877-803-3006. North Alabama businesses can consult with attorneys about prospective BP claims on the telephone, in an office appointment, or by using a website contact form. The consultation is free. If the attorneys believe you have a valid claim, they will handle your claim and charge no attorneys’ fee unless you collect on your BP claim. And if you do collect money from the BP Settlement, the settlement administrator will pay your attorneys fees from the BP Settlement Fund. You will not be charged attorneys fees to consult with or hire our law firms to file your BP claim.

[Parts of this article were taken from a BP Settlement | BP Claims Press Release.]


 BP Claims - Click here for a Free BP Claims Evaluation by Our Sponsoring Law Firms


The law firms sponsoring this site are Yearout & Traylor, P.C., Gathings Law, and the Law Offices of Michael J. Evans, LLC. All of the lawyers working on this project have decades of experience in class action lawsuits. Our lawyers hold numerous awards attesting to our experience and skill as attorneys. We have lawyers who have been named as Super Lawyers. Our lawyers have been given the highest rating by our peers in the Marindale-Hubbell lawyer ratings. Feel free to visit our websites or ask other lawyers about our ability to handle your claims in the BP class action settlement. We have accountants who help calculate and prepare the documents you will submit to the BP claims administrator. Our law firms pay the accountants, and you are not charged by our law firms or the accounting firms. If we are successful in collecting a BP settlement check for you, the BP settlement fund will pay our attorneys fee and the accounting fees. There is no financial risk to you. We don't get paid unless you get paid from the BP Settlement. We are reviewing BP claims free of charge for businesses, professional people and sole proprietors all over Alabama. If you have never filed a BP claim, or if you have BP claims still unpaid, please contact us to take advantage of our BP Claims Free Review.
Disclaimer: No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. The hiring of a law firm is a serious decision that should not be based on advertising alone.
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Still no BP settlement, but BP agrees to fund Convention Center

BP claims filed by Alabama are still pending, but BP agrees to fund convention center and lodge

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley addressed local officials and the media Tuesday afternoon to announce that the State of Alabama is entering into a “public-private partnership” to redevelop the Gulf State Park Convention Center and Lodge.

Before 2004, the beachfront property where the redevelopment is planned was the site of a convention center and lodge. But the previous convention center and lodge were damaged beyond repair by Hurricane Ivan, and  the building was demolished.

Similar efforts to use a “public-private partnership” to redevelop the Gulf Coast property have been struck down by the courts. It is uncertain whether this effort will succeed where others have failed.

BP Settlement BP Claims sign

Orange Beach, Alabama in 2010

Funding for the development will come from the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Early Restoration process. BP’s funding of NRDA early restoration projects came about after negotiations between BP and the Gulf Coast states and federal government. It is considered part of an effort to help the states recover from BP’s Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.

The project had to be approved by both BP and the NRDA trustees. Approximately $85.5 million in NRDA funding is allocated for Gulf State Park enhancements.

It’s BP Public Relations money, says one attorney.

“In other words,” said Birmingham, AL attorney Michael J. Evans, “this money was part of the same BP public relations money that paid $15 million for a series of concerts designed to “lure tourists back to the beach.”

“It’s some of that BP PR money like the $551,000 that BP spent to bring 6 travel writers to Pensacola to  ”get the word out that Florida’s beaches are open for business.”  ”In fact,” said Evans, “it’s even less than the  million BP spent on ads vowing to “clean up and restore the Gulf Coast.”

“People in Alabama should never be fooled by BP again,’ said Evans. “BP says one thing in television ads and then does the opposite. They said they would pay all legitimate claims arising from the oil spill, and they settled a class action in which they agreed to do that. But as soon as the class action was approved, BP began trying to renege on an agreement to pay economic losses suffered by businesses and nonprofits located anywhere in the state of Alabama.”

“Because BP failed to mail class action notices to the vast majority of North Alabama businesses, most businesses and nonprofits in North Alabama still don’t know they may be eligible for payments from the class action settlement that was intended to get businesses throughout the state back on sound financial footing after the 2010 BP oil spill,” said Evans.

“The really serious money, billions of dollars, is still being fought over in federal court in New Orleans,” said Evans. “And BP is using every legal tactic in the book to avoid paying the full amount it owes the State of Alabama, its residents, businesses and charities.”

No BP Settlement funds will be used, says Bentley

Bentley said the money to redevelop the lodge is not part of a BP settlement of the State’s lawsuit seeking damages from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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BP Settlement and New BP Claims Process Have Drawn Attention From Top Lawyers

Businesses and nonprofits in the Gulf Coast states have a new BP claims process which is more lenient than the old GCCF, now that the December 21, 2012 Deepwater Horizon oil spill class action settlement set up a new BP claims process. Don’t think the top class action law firms have failed to notice.

A BP Settlement News article published May 9, 2013 takes a look at how much more generous the BP Settlement process is for nonprofits now that the oil spill class action settlement governs BP claims.

The article covers the experiences of a New Orleans Art Museum which had filed a BP claim when Kenneth Feinberg was administering the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF). The GCCF flatly turned down the museum’s claim. After the settlement was approved, the museum hired an attorney to help them file a claim (the new BP claims process can be complicated). What was the response to the museum’s new claim?  A $600,000 BP Settlement check.

The lawyer who filed a new BP claim for the museum, Zachary Wool, explained:

“First, there’s the question of, “Was your loss caused by the spill?’” he says. “That has now been replaced with this objective formula based on gross revenue. And you either meet that test or you don’t. Or in some cases, for tourism businesses and seafood businesses, depending on where they’re located, any loss you have is automatically presumed to be caused by the spill, and you get to get past this step.”

“Most businesses have an uneven cash flow, and that’s especially true for nonprofits, because they usually receive the bulk of their money in large donations, and those come at different times of the year.”

“And so because the settlement is flexible—and these are the terms that BP agreed to,” he continues, “nonprofits really have an optimal chance to maximize their recovery, because they might have a large donation in May 2009, and then no donations in May 2010, and by using May in the calculation therefore have a large claim.”

New Initiative to Help Alabama Businesses and Nonprofits

Today, two leading Alabama law firms, Yearout & Traylor, P.C. and Gathings Law have announced their firms have launched a new initiative to help secure BP claims checks for businesses and nonprofits affected by the BP oil spill. Many businesses and nonprofit organizations remain unaware of their eligibility for compensation under the terms of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement which a federal judge finally approved December 21, 2012, say attorneys for the two law firms.

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BP Settlement: Judge rejects BP effort to reinterpret BP settlement | Updated

BP claims must be paid per settlement agreement, Judge rules

BP’s secret maneuvers to avoid paying valid BP claims have failed, according to an exclusive article tonight from WWL TV in New Orleans.

WWL first broke the story just days ago, telling of BP’s efforts to avoid paying BP claims to people in the construction, farming and professional service businesses.

BP settlement had “unofficial stay,” according to WWL. TV

WWL has previously reported that BP filed a motion asking U.S. District Judge Carl Barboer  to order the BP claims administrator, Patrick Juneau, to stop paying claims to accountants, farmers, lawyers and construction companies. BP argued that such businesses have “fluctuating profits” during the year, so they should not get BP claims paid using the same formula that applies to other businesses in the BP settlement.

BP settlement administrator stopped paying certain BP claims without Court approval

Judge Barbier denied BP’s motion on January 30, 2013, and BP moved to reconsider the motion. While the motion to reconsider was pending, Patrick Juneau, the BP claims administrator, stopped paying the claims filed by farmers, construction companies and other..

Juneau’s suspension of BP claim payments was not approved by the court, and was not documented anywhere in the court record. WWL TV was able to uncover the story by obtaining emails.

BP made no objection to such claims before the BP settlement was submitted to the Court. But when large numbers of BP claims began to be filed by those types of businesses, BP began looking for a way to limit BP claims payments tot those businesses.

Deepwater Horizon Settlement Judge denies BP claims asserted in its motion

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled against BP on January 30, 2013. BP followed up with a motion to reconsider the ruling. And even though Judge Barbier did not authorize the administrator, Juneaue, to stop paying BP claims, Juneau made a decision on his own to stop paying claims of accountants, farmers, lawyers and construction companies.

Juneau stopped paying these categories of BP claims even though the judge did not authorize Juneau to suspend BP claims for any businesses.

Perhaps the most unseemly thing about the affair was that none of these facts appear in the court record. WWL TV’s investigative journalism reported February 28, 2014, that “BP’s challenges and the judge’s rulings have all been done over email, and not in the open court record.”

In its most recent article, WWL reported:

A federal judge has made a final ruling against BP denying its request to change the way certain business loss claims are handled in its multibillion-dollar settlement with private victims of the 2010 Gulf oil spill.

WWL’s latest article reported:

BP tried to argue that because these industries have fluctuating profits at different times of year, they could show big losses from certain months in 2007, 2008, and 2009 as compared with the same months of 2010, even if they earned big profits in other parts of 2010. The company tried to say that these industries have “comparable” business in different months from one year to the next, and therefore those are the months that should be used to calculate loss.

But Barbier pointed out emails by BP’s own lawyer, Rick Godfrey, in which Godfrey explicitly agreed that the same months should be used to compare revenues before 2010 to revenues in the year of the spill.

Barbier made it clear that these types of claims should get the same calculation formulas as all the others. The ruling means these types of claims now must be paid the same way Juneau had been paying them — and without implementing any new tests to determine if fluctuating profits were really due to the spill or driven by some other economic conditions. (emphasis added)BP tried to argue that because these industries have fluctuating profits at different times of year, they could show big losses from certain months in 2007, 2008, and 2009 as compared with the same months of 2010, even if they earned big profits in other parts of 2010. The company tried to say that these industries have “comparable” business in different months from one year to the next, and therefore those are the months that should be used to calculate loss.

But Barbier pointed out emails by BP’s own lawyer, Rick Godfrey, in which Godfrey explicitly agreed that the same months should be used to compare revenues before 2010 to revenues in the year of the spill.

Barbier made it clear that these types of claims should get the same calculation formulas as all the others. The ruling means these types of claims now must be paid the same way Juneau had been paying them — and without implementing any new tests to determine if fluctuating profits were really due to the spill or driven by some other economic conditions.

BP settlement bottom line: what, if anything, does this mean for my business?

It means a lot if you are an accountant, farmer, lawyer or construction company owner. The BP settlement was set up so that no business would have to offer direct proof that its business was hurt by the BP oil spill.

Instead, the settlement set up “Zones” for paying businesses. When you move a few miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico, you find that the rest of the state of Alabama, all the way to the Tennessee line, is in a zone. The zone also extends down the western coast of Florida to Key West.

Here is the effect of Judge Barbier’s ruling: ANY business in ANY industry (including accountants, lawyers, farmers and construction companies) may be entitled to a large BP claim payment simply by showing a gross revenue decrease during 3 consecutive months during a certain period in 2010 (during the oil spill) and then showing a 10% uptick during the same 3 month period in 2011.

In other words, your business may be entitled to a substantial payment from the BP settlement even without proof that BP caused your decreased revenues.

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BP claims | Video explains BP claims | Get free help with your BP claim

The BP claims process is complicated. We offer free professional help to businesses to evaluate and file BP claims.

The BP Settlement Help YouTube Playlist has a new video of attorneys Gusty Yearout and Lloyd Gathings explaining the BP claims process. They also explain how you can get free professional help to find out if BP owes you money, and free professional help to file your BP claim to collect your money. The new video is posted below.

BP Claims Video

 

Summary of the BP claims video and other important BP settlement information

The BP claims process is explained in this video by attorneys Gusty Yearout (800-226-6116) and Lloyd Gathings (877-803-3006). The BP settlement provides money to businesses all over Alabama, West Florida, MS and LA if they file the proper BP claims forms and business records showing that gross revenues declined-for any reason-during certain months in 2010, and recovered a certain amount in 2011 (it’s a little more technical than that, but that’s what  we’re here for).

Yearout and Gathings explain the complexities of filing BP claims, and explain how you can get free legal representation to file your BP claim in BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement. See more at BP-Settlement-Help.org. Yearout’s and Gathings’ law firm websites are at Yearout.net and GathingsLaw.com.

BP Claims – Free Review

You can get a free BP claims review from the attorneys at Yearout & Traylor, P.C. and Gathings Law, P.C. by using the form in the right margin of this page, or by using our Free BP Claims Evaluation form.

The BP oil spill devastated the economies of Alabama, western Florida, MS and LA. Businesses located anywhere in those areas may be able to collect money from the BP settlement. Contact us to find out if you’re owed money from the BP Settlement. Our services are free to you, and if we handle the BP claims process for you, our fees will be paid from the BP settlement. There is no cost or risk to you.


 BP Settlement Help and BPOilNews.com are sponsored by law firms

Attorney advertising disclaimer: No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. The hiring of a law firm is a serious decision that should not be based on advertising alone.

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