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BP Business Economic Loss Claim Appeal 2015-1062: Zone upgrade approved w/i .25 miles of ramp, BP’s position “disingenuous”


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 received a BEL award of $89,173.81 with an RTP of 2.0. BP appeals, arguing that the Settlement Program incorrectly considered this a Zone C claim.

There is no doubt the claimant is located in Zone D but the Claims Administrator included this parcel in Zone C based on 2 exceptions enumerated in the Settlement Agreement.

First, the Settlement Program found that the property in question was directly accessible to a surface road via a driveway, parking lot or on- street parking. This Panelist requested further illumination on this exception and the Claims Administrator provided a map which shows a route which weaves through numerous parking lots and driveways to get to a surface road in Zone C. This is a misapplication of Section 1C of the Settlement Agreement. This provision allows for the inclusion in a more preferential zone if the parcel is “directly accessible to a surface road via a driveway, parking lot, or on-street parking”. Weaving through numerous driveways and parking lots does not qualify as being “directly accessible” to a surface road via a singular driveway or parking lot as contemplated in the Settlement Agreement.

However, the Settlement Program also referenced a second criteria which does allow for the claimant’s parcel to be included in the more favorable zone. The Settlement Agreement allows for inclusion if the parcel is within a .25 mile radius from the end of an exit ramp right of way. The map of the pertinent area demonstrates that the property is within .25 miles of an exit ramp. BP argues the “ramp” in question is not an exit ramp but merely a “turn lane”. An examination of the map reveals this is patently false. The ramp in question clearly exits from the surface road to a different street. To call this a turning lane to avoid the implementation of the provisions of the Settlement Agreement is disingenuous.

Accordingly, the award in favor of the claimant with an RTP of 2.0 is affirmed.

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