Archive for the ‘Mississippi BP Oil Spill Claims’ Category

Deepwater Horizon Settlement Types

Saturday, September 30th, 2017

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill has had a lasting impact on people and wildlife throughout the Gulf. Among other things, the disaster reduced fish populations, led to lung disease in dolphins and might have caused permanent damage to the ecosystem. Fisheries and businesses that depend on tourism were hit hard by the spill, and the initial spill costs 11 workers their lives.

BP was ruled to have been “grossly negligent” in its actions leading up to the spill. The company was exposed as having had a practice of cutting corners to reduce its costs and increase its profits, exhibiting a careless attitude regarding the safety of their workers, the public, and the environment.

As a result of BP’s actions, the company was hit with the biggest fine in history. In addition to the fine, BP has to pay damages to many of the people impacted by the spill.

Medical settlements

Many individuals were physically injured by the BP oil spill. The people affected include those who lived in the area during 2010 and workers who assisted in cleaning up areas that suffered as a result of the spill. People who were physically harmed were eligible to collect compensation from the settlement that was agreed to following a class action suit against BP. In order to recover from the BP Medical Benefits Settlement, the person must have suffered from an acute medical problem, or be suffering from a chronic medical condition as a result of their exposure to the oil spilled or related chemicals.

Economic and Property Damage Settlements

In addition to physical harm, the BP oil spill caused financial and property damage to a great deal of people and businesses in the states that were impacted. The fishing industry, tourism, and real estate industries suffered great losses as a result of the oil spill. The settlement pays claims related to seafood businesses, economic losses, and damage to vessels, damages to coastal property and to property sales.

Appeals of Payouts

BP is bound by their settlement to make payouts to those individuals and businesses that qualify for compensation. However, the language in the settlement agreement allows for BP to appeal claims that are worth at least $25,000. BP has successfully overturned some rulings, meaning that the party that had been determined to qualify for a payout ended up recovering nothing after the appeal.

The settlement agreement also allows for individuals who are denied benefits, or who receive payouts lower than they believe are owed to them to file an appeal.

If you are faced with your settlement being appealed by BP, or if you feel that your claim was wrongfully denied or underpaid, you should speak with an attorney. Attorneys familiar with the BP settlement will know what is expected from you, and how to present the best argument on your behalf. If you suffered harm as a result of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, there is a lot at stake, and it is important to recover the compensation that you are entitled to.  Contact the seasoned Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorney at Barrett Law, PLLC today at (800) 707-9577 to learn more about how the firm can help you.

Appeals of BP Deepwater Horizon Claims

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

When the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico on April 20th, 2010, 11 workers lost their lives, and the biggest oil spill in US history began. Hundreds of millions of gallons of oil leaked into the water, and soon began making its way to the shore. In addition to a devastating environmental impact, the spill had a drastic impact on the economy. In the Gulf states, the tourism industry and fisheries suffered major losses and real estate prices declined.

As a result of BP’s actions, the largest settlement paid out by any single entity in US history was agreed to. The settlement totaled $20.8 billion. Individuals and businesses impacted by the spill have the ability to file claims for compensation from the settlement fund. Compensation can be collected for employees who suffered a loss of personal income, businesses that lost profits or saw their earnings diminished, and individuals and businesses that suffered damage to their property as a result of the spill. Those who file for settlements can challenge a decision not to grant their settlement request, and can challenge a settlement award that is lower than they believe it should be. BP also has the right to appeal a decision.

BP Oil Spill Settlement Challenges

If a claimant believes that their claim was denied in error, or that the claim was lower than it should have been, it is possible to file for re-review or reconsideration. A claimant can file for re-review when there are additional documents that they believe should have been included in their claim, and that strengthen their position. Filing for reconsideration does not require that the claimant has additional supporting documentation for their claim. A claimant can request reconsideration is there was a calculation error, if relevant information about the claim was not taken into account, if the settlement standards were not followed, or if incorrect deductions were made from the payments.

BP also has the ability to appeal claim decisions in cases where the total compensation is at least $25,000, and they have done so in thousands of cases. While BP has to pay a fee for filing an appeal, the fees range from $400 to $5000 depending on the size of the award being appealed, and in many cases, BP has thought appealing was worth paying the fee. BP has appealed claims where they argue a claimant did not qualify for compensation because they should not have qualified for a category, such as the tourist designation, because the loss suffered was speculative, or because the amount awarded was higher than it should have been.

Facing the appeals process

If you have a BP oil spill settlement claim that was denied, or your settlement award is being challenged by BP, it is important to find an attorney who understands the appellate claims process and the Deepwater Horizon Settlement in detail. The process includes deadlines and documentation requirements, and your attorney will be able to work with you to ensure that you present your case in the most effective manner.  Contact the experienced Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorney at Barrett Law, PLLC today at (800) 707-9577 to learn more about how we can help make a difference for you.

Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys Talk About Taxes on Settlement Money

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

After the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, the environment and the economy of the Gulf Coast were in ruins. Fortunately, a claims process got set up that enabled people whose lives were impacted by the oil spill to seek compensation for the damages that they experienced. People filed claims for economic losses sustained by their businesses, property damage from the oil spill, and illnesses and injuries that they suffered as the result of the oil spill. Eventually, BP reached a settlement with those who had brought claims, and the settlement monies got distributed to the people who had filed the claims.

Unfortunately, the story does not end there. Claimants did not merely receive funds that they could use to help themselves recover from the unique damages that each of them suffered as the result of the oil spill. Many claimants found that they were expected to send part of their settlement money to the IRS. Some settlement monies, whether from an oil spill settlement, or some other type of claim for damages, are indeed taxable. Not all settlement monies are taxable, in fact, most personal injury settlements and verdicts are exempt from state and federal taxes.

Some people who were pursuing claims realized in advance that their settlement monies would get taxed, so they planned and took actions that resulted in them paying the least amount of tax possible on their settlement funds, including taking action to ensure that their settlement money did not land them in a higher tax bracket. Unfortunately, many people did not know that they would get taxed or that planning ahead was the only way to avoid negative tax consequences associated with settlement proceeds.

If you have not yet settled a claim for damages, look into whether or not the proceeds of your settlement will get taxed. If you find that the settlement that you are pursuing is taxable, avoid getting placed in a higher tax bracket by choosing to get your funds paid to you over time instead of in one, large lump sum. Many people choose the lump sum option because they want all of their money and they want it now, but because of taxes, those who choose that option lose a lot of that money to taxes.

Spreading out the tax liability for your settlement money over time is a perfectly acceptable method of dealing with the taxes on your settlement money. Individuals who are pursuing a settlement who want to use that method can set up their deferred compensation plan with a settlement planner so that the settlement plan meets all applicable state and federal requirements. Just as pursuing settlement of a claim produces better results when you have an attorney represent you than if you do it on your own, receiving settlement funds through deferred compensation is not something that it is advisable to attempt without the aid of an experienced professional.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Supporting BP Oil Spill Plaintiffs

Economic and environmental health is beginning to return to the Gulf Coast region thanks in part to proceeds from the oil spill settlement. However, many plaintiffs are dismayed to learn that there could be tax consequences of their settlements. If you are in the process of settling your claim, make sure you get all the facts about taxation as it applies to your settlement. To learn more about the BP oil spill litigation, call the Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC at 1 (800) 707-9577, to arrange an initial consultation.

 

Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys Say Housing Market is Recovering Nicely After Hurricane Katrina and the BP Oil Spill

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

It’s finally a seller’s market for real estate owners with homes and land in Southern Mississippi. Buyers are selecting plum properties quickly, and many sellers can get close to their asking prices. The average sale price for homes has increased by five percent in the past year.

Sellers are not the only ones who are having a good time of it with real estate on the Gulf Coast right now. Buyers are reaping the benefits of interest rates that are close to historically low levels. Rates are rising, but the increase has been slow. New construction is currently favored over remodeled or remodeled existing construction, as buyers have shown a tendency to want to customize their homes to reflect trends like the open floor plan, granite counter tops, double vanities, and other things that they see on popular home design television shows.

Homes on dry lots can command a premium price, as can homes in good subdivisions that are located in sought-after school districts. New subdivisions are not getting built quickly enough to meet the demand, so some buyers are choosing to go for existing homes rather than wait a while for a new home to get constructed. Also, depending upon the area where a home buyer is looking to purchase a house, existing homes can offer significant savings. For example, there are strict code requirements in South Mississippi, so existing buildings are cheaper to buy than new ones.

The way that people are finding their new homes is changing, too. Social media has dramatically increased the amount of “for sale by owner” properties, and real estate agents are using social media to link buyers and sellers with each other and with the real estate professionals who can help them make the arrangements for the purchases and sales of the properties.

Gulf Coast home prices have been on a roller coaster ride years for years, since Hurricane Katrina damaged many homes and businesses, sending shock waves through the real estate market. The market eventually bottomed out after the devastation caused by the BP oil spill and the subsequent economic recession. Home prices on the Gulf Coast have been climbing steadily since 2011, and the housing market seems to have stabilized which is great news for both buyers and sellers.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Supporting Individuals and Businesses Affected by the BP Oil Spill

The BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill caused enormous amounts of environmental and property damage along with widespread economic damage all over the Gulf Coast region. Homeowners and others who own real estate on the Gulf Coast can finally breathe a sigh of relief as the values of their homes and land have stabilized, and the entire Gulf Coast is experiencing environmental restoration and economic revitalization. If you have questions regarding the BP oil spill, call the Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC at 1 (800) 707-9577, to arrange an initial consultation.

 

Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys Discuss Damage to Marine Life

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon had a devastating impact on the Gulf Coast economy as well as on marine life in the Gulf of Mexico. In the years since the spill, researchers have studied the plants and animals in the Gulf of Mexico closely to assess the full impact of the massive oil spill. The oil spill released over a hundred million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Oil is traditionally measured in barrels, but when you translate barrels into gallons, it is much easier for everyone to understand just how much oil that is. The oil covered over forty thousand square miles of the water’s surface and contaminated over one thousand three hundred miles of shoreline.

Thousands of sea turtles and marine mammals died from the oil spill and those animals that did not die faced the challenge of living in a polluted habitat that extended from the surface down to the ocean floor. Some individuals have been able to survive, but the impact on the populations of many species is devastating. Researchers who study marine life estimate that populations of some species could remain below pre-spill numbers for decades, even as habitat restoration projects get completed.

Thousands of the species of marine life that live in the Gulf of Mexico were protected species before the oil spill, meaning that their numbers were already of concern. The spill put those species at even greater risk for extinction. The animals that researchers have studied during their efforts to understand how the spill affected wildlife experienced a variety of means of exposure to the oil and the substance that were used to clean up the oil including ingestion, topical exposure, inhalation, and consumption of oil that was on the foods that they ate. These exposures caused many negative health effects like organ failure, respiratory failure, and reproductive failure.

Some of the more highly visible species have given researchers insight into how the spill is affecting them. For example, the population of bottlenose dolphins in Barataria Bay, Louisiana appears to have been reduced by half. The population of bottlenose dolphins in the Mississippi Sound decreased even more dramatically, with a current population that is sixty-two percent smaller than it was before the oil spill. Populations of endangered sea turtles like the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle have experienced similar declines.

Research findings like these findings factored into the almost nine billion dollar allocation for natural resource damage that got included in the twenty billion dollar BP Oil Spill settlement that got approved by a U.S. federal judge last year. The funds that are designated for addressing natural resource damage are beginning to get used for a variety of habitat restoration projects in the Gulf Coast area.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Supporting Those Damaged by the BP Oil Spill

The BP oil spill caused enormous amounts of environmental damage and widespread economic damage throughout the Gulf Coast region. The twenty billion dollar BP Oil Spill settlement is beginning to be put to use in environmental and economic restoration projects throughout the region. If you have questions about the BP oil spill litigation, call the Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC at 1 (800) 707-9577, to arrange an initial consultation.

 

Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys Talk About Attorneys’ Fees

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

Litigation in large-scale litigation like that which followed the BP oil spill takes a lot of time and effort. Cases that big require the work of many attorneys, support staff, paralegals, and other professionals. The BP Oil Spill case is one of the largest, if not the largest, multi-district litigation (MDL) cases in history. When a case like the oil spill litigation comes to a close, the court decides how to pay the attorneys. In the case of the BP oil spill, two law firms in New Orleans and Lafayette will each get nearly eighty-eight million dollars under a proposed division of a total of six hundred and eighty million dollars’ worth of class-action attorney fees.

The litigation that followed the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster was lengthy and complicated. It involved a two-phase trial, and between the trial, the expert testimony, and the settlement negotiations, the case took several years. It dealt with diverse subject matter, and various types of claims, including individual economic damages claims, medical claims, and state government claims. It is estimated that the number of individual claims that went into the lawsuit exceeds one hundred and thirty thousand. It took a committee of six plaintiffs’ attorneys twelve days to review billing requests from all of the law firms that worked on the case and create a recommendation for the court as to what the fee award should be.

The attorneys’ fees are a part of the settlement, and BP, Transocean, and Halliburton are each paying for a portion of the fees. BP will pay the most, over five hundred and fifty million dollars. The other two companies will each pay approximately one hundred and twenty-four million dollars each. In addition to the two firms mentioned earlier, two other firms, one from Alabama and one from New York will each get over forty million dollars. Many, many attorneys and staff spent many hours on the oil spill litigation. It is estimated that all in all, nearly five hundred and twenty thousand hours’ worth of work. About two dozen New Orleans law firms will share nearly two hundred and fifty million dollars’ worth of the total award of fees.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Supporting Mississippi Residents Affected by the BP Oil Spill

The BP oil spill litigation was complex and far-reaching. Many parties participated in the litigation and received settlement of their claims. The attorneys who worked on the oil spill litigation spent a lot of time working to resolve the claims that individuals and businesses filed regarding the damages that they experienced as the result of the spill. Now that BP, Transocean, and Halliburton are paying for the damage that their actions caused, they are paying the attorneys’ fees as well. If you want to learn more about the BP oil spill litigation, call the Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC at 1 (800) 707-9577, to set up a free, initial consultation.

Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys Share Information About Oil Spill Claim Fraud

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

A man entered a plea of not guilty in response to charges that he fraudulently received $172,800 by claiming that he lost his job as a deckhand and fisherman following the BP oil spill. The man got charged with fraud after he got arrested for traffic violations and the federal arrest warrant for fraud came through on his background check. The charges allege that the man and a co-conspirator submitted false documentation to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, including an employment letter, tax documents, and receipts. The Gulf Coast Claims Facility paid the claim.

Unfortunately, the aforementioned incidence of alleged oil spill fraud is not an isolated case. Various types of individuals and groups of people have tried to claim a piece of the oil spill settlement money in ways that are not legitimate. Another example of oil spill fraud is the case of Thi Houng Le a/k/a Kristy Le, and Gregory P. Warren, who got sentenced for conspiracy to commit identity theft, along with aggravated identity theft, mail fraud, and wire fraud. The charges were brought in connection with a fraudulent lawsuit that they brought against BP. This type of fraud was a  scheme that would have defrauded a number of individual victims in addition to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. The defendants stole the names, addresses, social security numbers, birth dates, and other pieces of personal information of multiple people to create over forty thousand “plaintiffs” for anticipated litigation. The individuals named as “plaintiffs” had never consented to representation by the law firm.

There are plenty of other fraud cases as well. For example, a woman collected approximately $150,000 in oil spill recovery money after she claimed that she lost her job as a hotel manager as the result of the oil spill. She submitted an online claim form to the Gulf Coast Claims Center, and, with the aid of a co-conspirator, she supplied documentation in support of the claim. She was charged with wire fraud and entered a guilty plea. The woman could get sentenced to prison for up to twenty years.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Addressing the Fallout From the BP Oil Spill

The BP oil spill created thousands of personal and business losses. A claims center was established to process those claims, and some people who had never been damaged by the oil spill submitted false claims. Some of the fraudulent claims got paid, depriving the claims center of money that it could have used to pay legitimate claims for damages, which were plentiful. As time goes on, it is likely that more and more false claims associated with the oil spill will be revealed and more people will get arrested for their attempts to take money that they are not entitled to. If you have questions about the BP oil spill claims process, the Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC might be able to help you. Call us today at 1 (800) 707-9577, to set up a free, initial consultation.

Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys Talk about Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

Some of the damage that resulted from the BP oil spill was caused by the dispersant that was applied to the oil spill, and not by the oil itself. One dispersant, in particular, Corexit, has been banned from use in Europe since 1998 because it is highly toxic. Over two million gallons of various types of Corexit were put onto the surface of the Gulf of Mexico and pumped deep under the water after the spill, exposing many people and a large area of the natural environment to the substance.

One of the forms of Corexit used at the BP spill, Corexit 9527A, contains the toxin 2-Butoxyethanol. This substance has been linked to injury to red blood cells, kidneys and the liver in individuals who have had repeated or excessive exposure to it. The forms of Corexit that were used on the BP oil spill are more toxic and less effective than other dispersants that are available for use.

In addition to the aforementioned types of injuries, the health effects of Corexit on human health are serious. Exposure to oil and dispersants has been shown to increase the incidence of psoriasis, and psoriatic arthritis, a form of rheumatoid arthritis are just a couple of the conditions that have been found in people who were exposed to the oil and dispersants. Unfortunately, some of the health concerns that exposed individuals are experiencing place them at risk for even greater harm.

For example, researchers have recently discovered a connection between psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and osteoporotic fractures. Adults who have severe psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis appear to be more than twice as likely as people without those conditions to fracture one or more vertebrae, which leads researchers to believe that those people are at greater risk for all kinds of osteoporotic fractures.

Osteoporotic fractures are bone fractures associated with low bone mineral density. Spine, forearm, hip, and shoulders are the most vulnerable areas for these fractures, which occur when forces that wouldn’t normally cause a fracture do in fact fracture the bone because of low bone mineral density.

Many people were exposed to varying amounts of Corexit after the BP oil spill, either from encountering it on the shoreline while walking on the beach, participating in cleanup efforts or by some other method of exposure. The amount of exposure varied from person to person, and it depended on both the type of exposure and length of exposure, as well as how much protective equipment if any, each person was wearing when they were interacting with the oil and dispersants. For example, almost all cleanup workers wore gloves, but only some of the cleanup workers wore masks.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Helping Mississippi Residents Recover from the BP Oil Spill

The BP oil spill caused a variety of health problems for residents of Mississippi’s Gulf Coast. While some of the health effects were temporary, many people suffer from long-term health effects from the BP oil spill. If you experience health problems in connection with exposure to oil and dispersants from the BP oil spill, the Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC may be able to help you. Call us today at 1 (800) 707-9577, to set up a free, initial consultation.

Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys Discusses Health Effects of the BP Oil Spill

Monday, December 26th, 2016

The environment and the economy of the Gulf Coast suffered greatly after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. The health of Gulf Coast residents suffered greatly as well. The economic and environmental recovery of the Gulf Coast gets discussed much more frequently than the health of area residents. Fortunately, funds were made available to some of the people whose health had suffered as the result of the oil spill.

Since the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill was the result of gross negligence and deliberate misconduct on the part of oil giant BP, billions of dollars in fines and penalties were levied against the company. Some of the settlement money that was collected from BP was designated for the payment of medical benefits to people who lived for sixty or more days near oil-impacted shore areas and who were able to provide proof that they suffered from one or more medical conditions that were caused by the spilled oil or the dispersants that were used to clean it up. It is estimated that at least two hundred thousand people have filed claims for medical benefits, which means that the actual number of people whose health has been affected by the oil spill is greater than that.

The health effects of the oil spill are widespread and varied. Some area residents who wanted to help clean up after the disaster used their boats to participate in the cleanup efforts. Unfortunately, many of them have developed respiratory problems as the result of spending so much time in proximity to the spilled oil. Some people who were involved in cleanup efforts, as well as some who walked the beaches in the days and weeks after the oil spill, have developed skin conditions from coming into contact with the spilled oil. Many cleanup workers were given protective clothing and gear and were instructed on how to clean up the oil in a way that would minimize their exposure to it. Some of them used the equipment and some did not, which means that some people were exposed to enough oil and dispersant to negatively affect their health. Even individuals who used the gear and implemented the training that they received were exposed to some oil and dispersant, and for certain people that was enough to cause problems.

Barrett Law PLLC:  BP Oil Spill Attorneys in Mississippi

The BP oil spill caused many health issues for residents of Mississippi’s Gulf Coast. Although the environment is beginning to be restored and economic activities in the area are starting to recover, many people are still suffering from the health effects that they have experienced as the result of the spill. If you experienced health problems as the result of the BP oil spill, the Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC could assist you.  Our experienced Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys have helped many oil spill victims, and we might be able to help you.  Call us today at 1 (800) 707-9577, to set up a free, initial consultation.

Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys Discuss Oil Spill Recovery Efforts

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

The Governor has recently announced plans to begin some of the projects that will restore environmental health to the Gulf coast. Some of those projects include replacing sewers and storm drains that currently contribute to beach closures and buying property around some of the bayous so that it can be used for conservation and public use.

The list of projects that will eventually be completed using oil spill recovery money is much longer than that, and the projects on the list are intended to restore both the environmental and the economic health of the area. State officials developed ideas for some of the projects from public input about what types of projects residents thought would be effective. Water quality improvements, economic improvements, coastal habitat protection and restoration, and protection of marine resources are the broad categories of projects that people believe will benefit the area the most.

Specific details and projected costs of some projects have already been released. For example, the state plans to buy a private oyster hatchery near Perkinston so that the University of Southern Mississippi can upgrade the facilities and take over the operation of the hatchery. The Coast Coliseum and Convention Center will receive funds for expansion, although it is not yet clear what form that expansion will take.

A few of the projects that are going to be funded with oil spill recovery money are designed to provide much-needed oversight and will ensure that other restoration projects to determine their effectiveness. For example, the National Oceans and Applications Research Center, which is a private nonprofit that the state has chartered for scientific research and collaboration in the Gulf of Mexico, will monitor Gulf ecosystems to see what impacts various restoration projects will have on the health of marine systems.

Marine life and shore birds are vital to the health of the Gulf, and tourists and area residents alike enjoy seeing dolphins, sea turtles, and other easily recognizable and charismatic signs of a healthy ecosystem. A marine life conservation program will receive funding to do work that involves the conservation, rehabilitation, recovery, and monitoring of sea turtle and dolphin populations. Funds have been allocated to programs that will monitor the health of coastal birds, protect their habitat, and increase their populations.

Barrett Law PLLC:  BP Oil Spill Attorneys in Mississippi

The BP oil spill caused a lot of environmental and economic damage to Mississippi’s Gulf Coast. Although the environment is beginning to be restored and economic activities are starting to recover, many businesses are still suffering from the damage that they have experienced. If you experienced economic damage as the result of the BP oil spill, the Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC are here to assist you.  Our experienced Mississippi BP Oil Spill attorneys have helped many oil spill victims, and we might be able to help you.  Call Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577, to set up a free, initial consultation.