Houston, Tx (PRWEB) October 06, 2013
Williams Kherkher Hart Boundas, LLP, with its principal office in Houston, Texas, announced they’ve launched http://www.BPClaimAppeal.com. This website provides information and answers common questions about the Claims Appeal Process included in the BP Class Action Settlement Agreement (the “Agreement”). The Agreement is the largest class action in history, and is the exclusive mechanism for most victims of the April 20, 2010, Gulf Oil Spill to obtain compensation. More on the agreement and details can be found at http://www.deepwaterhorizoneconomicsettlement.com/index.php
Williams Kherkher launched BPClaimAppeal.com partly in response to the October 2, 2013 5th Circuit ruling that may change the way economic loss claims are processed and calculated. “The Fifth Circuit’s ruling may lead to changes in the how claims are calculated,” stated Armistead “Armi” Easterby, who manages the Oil Spill Claims Team within Williams Kherkher. “Previously the compensation protocols were pretty straight-forward and transparent. Now, the possibility exists that claimants will have to fight for their compensation through the Claim Appeals Process. It will be very difficult for unrepresented claimants to win against BP’s huge team of attorneys.”
“BP can appeal any claim over $25,000, and the claimant can always initiate an appeal,” explained Easterby. “Under the Baseball Arbitration Rules set forth in the Agreement, claimants simply can’t afford to make mistakes or miss deadlines with their claim appeal. If they do, they may end up getting nothing even though the Settlement Program said they were owed hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
The Baseball Arbitration Rules require BP and the Claimant to both file “Final Proposals” with the Appeals Coordinator. These Final Propsoals set forth what each side believes is a fair claim payment. The Appeals Panelists – lawyers appointed by Judge Carl Barbier to hear these claim appeals – must then either select BP’s Final Proposal, the Claimant’s Final Proposal, or remand the claim back to the Settlement Program. Claimants typically have only 10 days to submit their Final Proposals, and missing that deadline can have catastrophic results.
“The Baseball Arbitration Rules are great because they don’t allow the Appeals Panelists to ‘split the baby’” continued Easterby. “But, BP usually puts down $0 in its Final Proposals, so if the claimant misses a deadline or doesn’t file the right brief they may end up getting noting. We launched BPClaimAppeal.com as a resource to make sure that doesn’t happen. Whatever we may all think about BP, I think we can agree they shouldn’t get to keep the claimant’s money because a busy small-business owner missed a deadline.”
Claims Administrator Patrick Juneau, who oversees the Deepwater Horizon Claim Center (“DHECC”), publishes monthly reports that summarize the claim appeals process. “Currently BP is winning about 50% of claim appeals” stated Easterby. “Our current record on claim appeals is 66-1, and we’ve never had a client get ‘zeroed out.’”
“We know there are quite a few claimants that filed their own claim, or hired a non-attorney claim processor” concluded Easterby. “While some non-attorney claim processors are qualified to calculate losses, they really are not set up to handle a legal appeal. The Fifth Circuit’s recent ruling is only going to make claim appeals more complex and more important.”
Williams Kherkher maintains a large team of qualified claim appeal attorneys who are extremely knowledgeable with the Settlement Agreement (Case 2:10-md-02179-CJB-SS), the dozens of Policy Decisions handed down by Mr. Juneau, the various court orders entered by Judge Barbier, as well as the specific legal issues BP raises in claim appeals. Williams Kherkher handles claim appeals on a reduced contingent fee basis, and since BP has to pay an additional 5% when BP initiates and loses a claim appeal, the Claimant still receives 95% of the total payout.
Claimants who would like to receive a confidential, free, no-obligation evaluation of their claim appeal should immediately visit http://www.bpclaimappeal.com/contact/, or contact Williams Kherkher toll-free at 1.800.821.1544. Williams Kherkher, and http://www.BPClaimAppeal.com, are not affiliated with the Settlement Program, BP, or the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans Division).