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BP Business Economic Loss Claim Appeal 2015-482: “To say that BP was misleading would be kind”


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.

BP appeals a pre-RTP $790,297.45 BEL award to a Shreveport, La. manufacturer of noise pollution barriers on a single basis, claiming that the award should be remanded for a re-investigation of a proper NAICS code requiring Moratoria loss review.

Herein it posits that web information indicates that Claimant is deeply embedded in the offshore drilling industry. It further avers that the NAICS code of 332999 chosen by the Administrator (Other Miscellaneous Fabricated Metal Product Manuf.) is incorrect, because the majority of Claimant’s revenue is from panels that Claimant admits are metal-free. It suggests a NAICS Code of 423830 (Equipment &Parts Used in Manuf., Oil Well, and Warehousing Activities), which code is listed in Exhibit 19 requiring Moratoria review.

Because the record was unclear on this issue, supplemental briefs were requested from the parties and were duly reviewed. As to BP’s allegation of the panels, Claimant clarifies that the majority of its revenues is from of which the panels are only a part, adding that annually it fabricates over a half-million pounds of structural steel as part of these walls, and employs many certified welders in the process.

BP responds rather weakly that the panels are at least a key component of these walls. To say that BP’s premise was misleading is to be kind to their position.

More importantly, Claimant has satisfied this panelist that its overall activities are not significantly involved in the offshore drilling industry under Ex. 16 and 19 and Policy 302. Its walls are designed for densely populated (not offshore) areas, and its primary contact with the drilling industry is in an area which is indeed very far removed from the Gulf.

The decision of the Administrator in assigning the subject NAICS code, and in not conducting a Moratoria analysis, is hereby affirmed after careful de novo review.

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