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BP’s Claim Appeal: A Further Suffering for Many Business Firms

British Petroleum’s (BP) attempt to temporarily stop payouts in settlement of business loss claims gained grounds last July 2013, three years and three months after its oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico spilled 210,000,000 US gallons or 4.9 million barrels of oil into the sea. The spill, identified as the United State’s worst ecological disaster and the world’s biggest sea oil spill, wreaked havoc in marine life, affected people’s health and caused businesses to lose big money.

The past years have seen BP settling class claims from the government, business firms and individuals, paying more than $25 billion in total (including payment for clean up), thus far. But claims over the past year have only continued to pile up, and poor BP obviously has realized late that some of the payouts it has made were on fraudulent claims.

The sadder fact is, it has become obvious, through an investigation into fraudulent claims, that some lawyers have included clients as claimants despite the fact that the business losses these clients have suffered are in no way related to the oil spill.

The effect of the appeal is that those who really suffered losses due to the spill will not be paid yet and, due to the claim appeal that has been granted to BP, even those who were initially recognized as authentic claimants will now have to fight for their money.

Obviously, those really affected by the spill plus BP’s granted claim appeal are yet to suffer the worst effects of this marine disaster. Bankruptcy may not be a distant possibility too for some of these businesses which, until now are still struggling for recovery, especially those whose existence rely basically on marine life or on the sea itself (this includes sea food restaurants, yachting, boating and other sea-based businesses).

Immediately after the spill, BP resorted to an eligibility test to determine if a business making a claim has really suffered losses. Now, it has shifted to determining the real cause of losses to know if the claim made is really spill-related or not.