The BP settlement is based off of damages that were caused by the oil spill disaster. These damages include the immediate effects of the oil spill to the ripple effects that it had in much of Florida’s overall economy. The BP settlement identified various areas, referred to as zones, where the local economies were damaged directly by the disaster as well as other areas that experiences ripple effects from the spill.
Leon County is one of the outer zones that is included in the damage zones in the settlement; it is referred to as Zone D. Almost every business in the zones qualify for the regulations and are eligible to participate under the ripple effect theory. In the settlement, the tourism industry is defined very broadly, and it is one of the areas of the economy most negatively affected from the BP oil spill. Areas close to the coastline were especially harmed, and the settlement took that into account by increasing the amount of damages and reducing the level of proof required due to the greater probability of harm from the spill.
However, almost all other businesses in sectors – ranging from clothing stores, to law firms, to consulting firms, construction companies, and taxi companies – may still be eligible to participate in the settlement. Various businesses operating in Leon County, Wakulla, Gadsden, and Franklin County in 2010 may be eligible to file a BP claim.
The Law Office of Brooks, LeBoeuf, Bennett, Foster &Gwartney, P.A. also want hotels, restaurants, and tourism-related companies to know that they are part of the tourism industry and can receive enhanced damages for loss of business. The BP settlement assumes that the local economies were impacted from the spill, therefore no proof of actual cancellations or damages are required.
There are likely two reasons that the settlement doesn’t require actual causation. One is that it would be extremely difficult for small business owners to prove that lost income or each cancellation of a contract or reservation for example was caused by the spill, or that more customers would have stayed with them if they weren’t afraid of tar balls or hazardous water.
In addition, such proof requirements would weigh the courts down with litigation and stall the resolution and payment under this settlement. For business claims, the Law Office of Brooks, LeBoeuf, Bennett, Foster &Gwartney, P.A. look at the monthly profit and loss statements from 2007 through 2011 and compute the numbers to determine the loss acquired by the business if any. The records are kept confidential and destroyed for business that elect not to pursue a claim.
There is no harm in filing a claim as a business owner affected by the BP spill. For more information, visit the law office online at http://www.floridabpclaim.net/