BP Oil Claims Tampa
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill, also commonly referred to as “the BP oil spill” or “the Gulf of Mexico oil spill,” occurred just over five years ago on April 20, 2010. The disaster resulted in over 200 million gallons of crude oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico and is considered to be the largest accidental marine-based oil spill in petroleum industry history. After the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank, an oil gusher located on the sea floor continued to spew crude oil for 87 days until the flow was finally cut off on July 15, 2010; however, the damage was done. The various wildlife habitats and marine industries in surrounding areas suffered massive damage. Marine life began dying at rates never seen before as tuna, amberjack, and other types of fish embryos developed fatal heart deformities, outright killing some of the growing fish and significantly reducing the lifespan of others. After the flow was cut off in July, oil continued to leak from the disaster area until it was officially declared sealed in September 2010, though some reports suggest that the disaster area is still leaking oil.
Oil giant BP was determined in court to be primarily responsible for the spill due to reckless conduct, and in November 2012 the United States Department of Justice determined that BP would pay $4.525 billion in fines and other payments. By the end of 2013, BP had paid close to $13 billion in claims to businesses, individuals, and sections of government. Claim litigation relevant to the BP oil spill is ongoing. The settlement covers individuals and businesses in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and certain coastal areas in eastern Texas and western Florida along the Gulf Coast. It was initially reported that the oil spill had not reached as far as the Tampa Bay region, but studies conducted in 2013 confirmed that oil had settled on an underwater shelf located 80 miles off the Tampa coast within the first year after the spill had occurred. This revelation led to the inclusion of individuals and businesses in Tampa (and certain other coastal communities on the west coast of Florida) in the pool of eligible claimants who have been negatively affected by the oil spill. Due to the late determination that the area was affected, many BP oil claims Tampa remain in litigation.
It is often assumed that a business that generates no direct income from major Gulf Coast industries such as commercial fishing or tourism is ineligible for BP oil claims Tampa; however, even businesses that are located far from the Gulf Coast are potentially eligible to claim. The spill settlement prohibits certain businesses, such as casinos, particular financial institutions, defense contractors, insurance companies, businesses that buy or sell BP fuel, and real estate planners. The settlement designated certain zones along the Gulf Coast associated with damage thresholds assigned by color. Zone A (yellow) is reserved for those at beachfront locations who have suffered the most damage. Zones B, C, and D are confirmed as non-beachfront areas but involve businesses and individuals that have nonetheless suffered losses of decreasing degrees. To determine if you live in an eligible zone, you may refer to the spill zone map available freely online, but for an accurate eligibility determination, you should consult with an attorney who can help you verify that you are eligible to claim.
Hopefully, your business has not suffered economic losses as a result of the BP oil spill, but in the event that you have, please give Hoag Law Firm a call or complete your online Free Case Evaluation to determine if you are eligible for BP oil claims Tampa. A free consultation can help you understand your rights. With honest advice and an experienced attorney at your side, you can recover the largest possible settlement, and get back to living your life.