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BP Business Economic Loss Claim Appeal 2016-1786: CA assigns Zone C to Claimant Located In Zone D .25 Miles Away From Zone C

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 BEL award to Claimant, a mechanical engineering firm in Gretna, Louisiana. Claimant was awarded $149,318.45 (pre-RTP). BP contends that the Claims Administrator erred in assigning Claimant to Zone C rather than Zone D. Claimant qualifies for compensation if found to be in Zone C but would not qualify if assigned to Zone D.
The record reveals that Claimant’s physical location is undisputedly in Zone D .Exhibit 1C provides for preferential zone treatment if a claimant can meet any of the criteria, in this case whether Claimant can show that it is “within a .25 mile radius from the end of each exit ramp right-of-way” on the boundary road between two claim zones. Here, the forms the boundary between zones C and D.
BP contends that at its closest point, Claimant is .27 miles from the end of the exit ramp and, thus, does not qualify for preferential zone treatment.
It is said that the three most important words in real estate are “location, location and location.” With that in mind, a Summary of Review was requested in which the Claims Administrator explained:
In this case, is a limited access road in Zone C with two exit ramps in close proximity to the claimant: (1) the exit ramp off of southwest-bound(Exit 8), and (2) the exit ramp off of northeast-bound (Exit 9). Section 3.1 of Exhibit 1C specifies that the 0.25 mile radius for application of a more preferential Zone is measured “from the end of each exit ramp right-of-way” (emphasis added).
“Exit ramp right-of way” is not defined in the Settlement Agreement, nor is it a commonly understood term. As such, Exhibit 1C is not clear as to whether the 0.25 mile radius is to be measured from the right-of-way onto the exit ramp or the right-of-way off of the exit ramp. Therefore, the Claims Administrator typically measures from both points of the exit ramp to determine whether to apply a more preferential Zone.
The parcel on which Claimant is located is more than 0.25 miles from the rights-of way off of the exit ramps at both Exits 8 and 9. However, the parcel is 0.11 miles
from the exit ramp right-of-way onto the exit ramp at Exit 8 and 0.12 miles from the exit ramp right-of-way onto the exit ramp at Exit 9. As a result, the Claims Administrator assigned a Zone C designation because the claimant is located within a 0.25 mile radius from the end of two exit ramp rights-of-way, as required in Section 3.1 of Exhibit 1C.
After careful consideration, this panelist accepts the Claims Administrator’s analysis and affirms the award. BP’s appeal is denied.

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