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.
This is Claimant’s Appeal of a Denial Notice.
Claimant is a Baton Rouge, LA based enterprise that claims class standing as its predecessor-in-interest, [XXXXX], was formed in 2006 and continued to operate as [XXXXX] until approximately August 1, 2010, when the company was “rebranded” as Claimant herein. Claimant argues that it is the successor-in-interest to [XXXXX], and may “tack on” its predecessor’s business operating history, which began in 2006, for purposes of pursuing this claim under the Settlement Program.
Citing Class Counsel’s amicus brief filled in conjunction with approval of the Settlement Agreement, Claimant maintains the intent of the Settlement Agreement was that, “if an Entity was transferred, merged, sold or otherwise converted into a successor Entity during the Benchmark or Class Period, the successor-in-interest would be able to submit a Claim based, in whole or in part, on the predecessor-in-interest Entity.” However, August 1, 2010, when Claimant was created, is after the Spill occurred, and after the Benchmark or Class Period had closed.
Recent decisions entered by the District Court foreclose the issue. In Claim ID #169XX, the Court held, “Further, the documents submitted establish that this legal entity did not exist until May 25, 2010; after the date of the Oil Spill (April 20, 2010). Thus, by definition, this claimant entity was not in operation as of the date of the oil Spill. The fact that prior to that date some other person of entity may have incurred expenses relative to this venture does not change this conclusion- an entity could not have been in operation before that entity even existed.” In Claim ID #1813XX, published June 1, 2016, the Court held that an asset purchase by a post-Spill formed entity that merely continued two entities in operation long before the Spill still did not qualify. Finally, in Claim ID #3062XX, also published June 1, 2016, the Court held that an entity formed in June, 2011 could not, under any circumstances, be found to have been in business or operating as of the date of the Oil Spill as required by Claims Administrator Policy 362 v.2, reversing the Appeal Panel and reinstating the Claims Administrator’s denial.
Claimant raises other procedural issues; however, they are rendered moot by the inescapable conclusion that it is ineligible, as it was incorporated following the Spill. Accordingly, the appeal is denied, and the Claims Administrator’s Denial is hereby upheld.