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BP Business Economic Loss Claim Appeal 2014-683: BP branded gas station (decision overruled)


The following is an Appeal Panel Decision issued pursuant to Section 6 of the BP Deepwater Horizon Economic & Property Damages Settlement Agreement and the Rules Governing the BP Appeals Process. Links may have been added to assist the reader. The original decision may be found here, as well as a glossary of BP Settlement terms.

Claimant, a gas station/convenience store located in Baldwin County, Alabama, appeals the denial of its BEL claim, said denial based upon the Administrator’s finding that it is excluded from the Program under Section of the Agreement, which excludes any Entity selling or marketing BP-branded fuel.

The Entity herein, has at least three facilities that filed claims. The instant appeal pertains to a facility that sold only branded fuel. Claimant further declares that this facility had no inter-company transactions with any other facility of this Entity, with each facility standing on its own and keeping its own financial records. A prior panel decision # reversed the Administrator’s finding of the BP-fuel exclusion, reasoning that as a Multi-facility business, each facility filing a claim must be analyzed separately based upon its own records. Although that decision partly based its holding upon Administrator policies 6 and 368, respectively, which have now been retracted (though not necessarily reversed), this panelist agrees with the overall rationale therein, especially as it is in conformance with the terms Exhibit 5 of the Agreement, which provides that businesses may file separate claims for each individual facility and that the relevant Causation standard and RTP for each claiming facility based on its location and industry shall apply….BP’s argument that Section ‘s exclusion applies regardless of whether an individual facility sells or markets BP-branded fuel is, in this panelist’s opinion, overbroad and in derogation of the overall wording of the Agreement, including Exhibit 5 and Section 4.3.7, requiring a Claimant-friendly application of the Agreement. As such, the finding of the Administrator must be overturned.

[Editor’s Note: Appeal 2014-683 has been overruled in Discretionary Review.]

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