Baseball and the BP Oil Spill Claim Appeals Process

Baseball and the BP Oil Spill Claim Appeals Process

Feb 15

British Petroleum (BP) has been in hot water since its Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in April 2010, killing 11 people outright, effectively closing down the Gulf of Mexico coastal cities to tourism, and devastating the region’s environment. It has cost the oil giant billions in clean up operations as well as for fines imposed by the federal and state governments for a variety of violations. It will cost it even more in individual and business loss claims.

But BP has an ace up its sleeve.

Under the settlement agreement it had reached with the legal representatives of thousands of business owners, BP will pay claimants who are part of the class action suit based on a prescribed computation. However, BP reserved the right to challenge any individual claim over $25,000. So far, BP has denied 75% of these claims, and has actually attempted to scrap the entire agreement, arguing that with regard to the eligibility of claims, the terms of the agreement were being improperly interpreted. The courts denied the petition, and approved claim payouts may not be resumed.

Of course, this does not really help a plaintiff whose claim has already been denied. Fortunately, the agreement also includes provisions for appeals, but there are several stages with strict deadlines that an appellant cannot afford to miss.

The most important part of an oil spill claim appeal is the submission of the final proposals, what is referred to as Baseball Arbitration rules, culled from the way baseball contracts are made. The rules allow both the appellant and BP to submit a proposal for what both sides believe is fair recompense based on the circumstances. The appeals board, made up of lawyers chosen by the court, will choose one or the other, or recycle the claim back to the Settlement program.

If the appellant misses a deadline at any point in the process, but especially final proposals, he or she could end up with nothing even if the claim is legitimate. An experienced BP oil spill claims appeal lawyer knows the rules, and will make sure that does not happen. This is why it is important for an appellant to retain one from the get go.