The Legal Examiner Mark The Legal Examiner Mark The Legal Examiner Mark search twitter facebook feed linkedin instagram google-plus avvo phone envelope checkmark mail-reply spinner error close
Skip to main content

91 Levy County businesses and individuals have filed economic loss claims with the BP Deepwater Horizon Court Supervised Settlement Program (CSSP). The CSSP began receiving claims on June 4, 2012 and will likely continue at least into the Spring of 2015. As of the date of publishing listed above, the precise claim filing deadline has yet to be set. For this reason, all businesses in Levy County that experienced an economic loss as a result of the spill are encouraged to undergo an eligibility evaluation as soon as possible.

Of the 91 Levy County claims currently filed, 16 have been paid to-date for a total of $2,300,000 resulting in an average claim value of $144,000. Assuming all 91 claims are paid, and no additional claims are filed, Levy businesses will receive $13,000,000 over the next two years.

Levy County BP Claim Payment Statistics
Levy County BP Claim Payment Statistics. Official BP Deepwater Horizon Court Supervised Settlement Program data. Map courtesy of The Sarasota-Herald Tribune.

According to the latest U.S. Census figures, there are approximately 3,700 business and non-profit entities in Levy County. Through our experience in evaluating eligibility for over 2,000 companies and non-profits, we estimate that one-fourth to one-third of all Levy County businesses suffered a measurable economic loss as a result of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster and are eligible for compensation under this program. Conservatively, that suggests that approximately 850 Levy entities should file claims, yet to-date only 91 have done so, or less than 15%.

Were all eligible Levy County businesses to file claims, based on the average claim value for the county, we would expect an infusion of $122,000,000 into the county over the next two years. As such, this is an economic development matter of great local and regional importance. Our elected officials, Chambers of Commerce, trade groups, professional associations and economic development organizations should actively encourage eligible claimants to participate.

This should come as no surprise to students of the tourism-centric Florida economy. As a hypothetical, imagine the European visitor on vacation. This person may typically fly into Orlando and spend a few days at Disney World before driving north on the Turnpike, then over to U.S. 19 for a five day Cedar Key vacation. In the Summer of 2010, she instead flew to Anaheim, California where she spent three days at Disneyland before taking the 405 to Newport Beach. Worse, rather than returning in 2011, this tourist now chooses California for her holiday, fearing the Florida coast remains oiled.

When considering these dynamics, all businesses in eligible BP compensation zones (yellow, purple, red and gray areas) have a duty to determine their eligibility. They owe it to their shareholders, employees and community. BP, seeking to avoid punitive damages, agreed, and is contractually obligated to pay, all businesses that experienced a loss “relating in any way to, directly or indirectly, the Deepwater Horizon Incident.” See Settlement Agreement, Section 38.57.

2 Comments

  1. Gravatar for Bruce Wilson

    If the claim process did not require a claimant to expose themselves to fraud for having to estimate, guess, hypothecate the possible maybe damage to the business from tourists that didn't come but might have------

    I would love to make a claim but my gross went up after the spill. Not by a lot, but up.

    1. Gravatar for Tom Young

      Bruce, the claims process is an objective mathematical exercise. There is no estimating, hypothesizing or guessing required nor permitted. And, just because your revenue increased post-spill does not in itself indicate you were not affected. First, certain revenue" is excluded from the analysis (one time non-operating gains, insurance proceeds, etc). Additionally, we look at three month periods, not the entire year. And finally, we actually want to see improvement in cash flow in parts of 2011.

Comments are closed.

Of Interest