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BP Business Economic Loss Claim Appeal 2016-1214: Claimant’s Sales Representative in Other Locations Does Not Equate to Other “Facilities”

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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.

BP appeals the award ($866,860.11 pre-RTP) to the claimant, a firearms wholesaler in Birmingham, Alabama.
BP argues on appeal that Claimant operated through “facilities” ranging from Alabama to Indiana and from Florida to New York, most of which were outside the the Gulf Coast Areas which the Settlement Program failed to adequately address and investigate. BP urges the panel to remand this claim for further investigation of such “facilities” and alternatively submits a final proposal of $0. BP’s basis for
this request consists of a snapshot purporting to be of Claimant’s website in January 2009 (during the 2009 Benchmark Period) which shows, under the “Locations” tab, various addresses with “Contacts” at each location. Although BP maintains in its memorandum that Claimant’s “principal address” is in Atlanta, Georgia, “well outside the compensable Gulf Coast areas,” this same screenshot clearly lists
Claimant’s corporate office at in Birmingham. BP also cites a March, 2014 press release which notes that Claimant is “headquartered in Birmingham, AL.”
A review of the record demonstrates that the Program did inquire about sales or distribution locations other than the Birmingham address. To that inquiry, Claimant responded that it only had one warehouse location, presumably the Birmingham warehouse.
A “Facility” is defined by the Settlement agreement as a “separate and distinct physical location of a Multi-Facility Business at which it performs or manages its operations.” Policy 467 defines a “facility as (a) a separate and distinct physical structure or premises, (b) owned, leased or operated by the Business Entity, (c) at which the Business Entity performs and/or manages its operations. It may be
that Claimant had sales representatives who were “contacts” in other locations who listed their home addresses, but these do not qualify as “facilities” under the Settlement Agreement or Policy 467. There is no evidence in the record that Claimant operated or managed its business from any of these locations or, in fact, that it is even a multi-facility business. BP’s appeal is based merely upon
speculation and conjecture.
There is no support in the record for BP’s final proposal of $0 nor is remand appropriate. The appeal is denied.

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