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 is a residential/commercial lawn maintenance and landscaping business located in Pensacola/Perdido, Florida area. The Administrator denied the Start-Up Business Economic Loss claim stating it was not in business prior to April 20, 2010.
Under the totality of the circumstances test of Policy 362 v.2, there appears to be sufficient indicia of this Claimant actually being in business in 2009. For example: its business license was taken out in 2009; its business cards were printed and delivered in 2009; uniforms for employees were ordered and delivered in 2009; business insurance was purchased in 2009; evidence of contracts that were cancelled were submitted.
Two issues have caused the Administrator concern; the revenues were co-mingled with the owners’ private bank accounts; and the owner submitted a letter to the GCCF that stated she started the business in 2010. The Claimant’s attorney explains that what she meant was she opened separate accounts for the business and treated it as a separate entity in 2010. Whatever. What counts are all the indicia of actually operating the business prior to April, 2010. That the Claimant has proven to the satisfaction of this panel member. The claim is returned to the Administrator with directions to calculate the award.