Do I still have a BP claim? A question asked by many Gulf Coast business owners.  The simple answer is yes, but it will continue to take time and patience for business owners to receive a settlement payment. Deep Water Horizon spill Since the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit lifted the injunction on settlement payments this summer, the Settlement Program has steadily increased payments to qualified business owners.  However, there continue to be significant delays and backlogs in processing due to the continued implementation of Policy 495, the policy requiring a business’s revenue to “match” with its corresponding expenses. In addition to the technical delays of implementing this sweeping policy, Settlement Administrator Patrick Juneau’s efforts to improve the handling of business loss claims continues to be frustrated with a flurry of objections, appeals, threats, and stall tactics made by BP.  Later this month, it is hopeful the U.S. Supreme Court will bring an end to BP’s largest challenge confronting the efficiency of the Settlement Program.  While it was largely expected the Court would announce whether it would hear BP’s request for appeal (writ of certiorari) on Monday, November 17th , the Court instead announced it would postpone its decision until after its next conference, November 25th.  Should the Court determine it will not hear BP’s appeal, business claimants can expect the claim process to become more productive by the end of the year.  Should you have any questions related to the Settlement Program or whether your business qualifies for a claim, please contact Knox Boteler at knox@bfw-lawyers.com

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