The recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has started to affect the lives of small business owners along the Gulf Coast recently. The oil has spread and started to harm the native animals and environment, negatively affecting area businesses, and owners and residents are looking for repercussions; however, BP has been slow in responding with payments to many of these victims. Fishermen and homeowners on the coast have been hit hard financially by this disaster and are demanding and subsequently expecting assistance from BP and the other companies involved in the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.
With anywhere from 600,000 to 1.2 million gallons of oil flooding into the Gulf, most of the wildlife has become scarce. While BP says it is doing all that it can to fix the leak and help those that are being hurt by this spill, they are being accused my many of dragging their feet in paying out settlements and penalties. This has resulted in a new flood of lawsuits, in addition to the thousands already pending. For example, Regina Shipp, a seafood restaurant owner, has filed a $33,000 dollar lawsuit, claiming that her business will close within two months if she doesn’t receive payment from BP’s adjusters. Many more business owners and families are facing the same dilemma.
While BP says it has paid 18,000 claims, the way the company has paid these claims has been hidden to the public. This doesn’t necessarily mean that BP hasn’t paid out, in fact it probably has, but it does put the company further into a negative light when local small business owners are claiming a lack of cooperation by the party essentially responsible for the oil spill.
Coast Guard Administrator Thad Allen told the New York Daily News, “We need complete, ongoing transparency into BP’s claims process including detailed information on how claims are being evaluated, how payment amount are being calculated and how quickly claims are being processed.” This would ensure that BP is paying these claims out to the right people and in amounts large enough to compensate for the damage of the oil spill.
While this process could take additional time, the business owners and families are attempting to keep their lives in tact with more than peace of mind. The oil spill has already hurt hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of coastal residents in multiple states and it is BP’s responsibility to make sure everyone that is hurt by it is compensated.
If you own or operate property or a business that has been affected by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, contact Newsome Law Firm and fill out a case evaluation form today. Our team of attorneys has experience specific to complications associated with environmental disasters. Not only can they give you the legal guidance you need, they can help you get the compensation you deserve.