After more than a year of accepting claims, BP has asked a federal judge to dismiss several economic claims . Several of these claims were brought by commercial fisherman, tourism-driven businesses, property owners and offshore workers. BP argues that the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) is the only theory of recovery under which injured parties may recover economic damage. Accordingly, BP alleges that all other claims filed outside of OPA are preempted.
OPA is a federal statute that gives the federal government greater control in oil spill prevention and response. BP alleges that OPA requires economic loss claimants to first file an economic claim with the “responsible party” for the oil spill, prior to filing suit. Because the federal government designated BP as the “responsible party” in the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill, BP asserts that all economic claims should have been filed with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. BP believes that under federal preemption, OPA preempts any state law claims not filed in accordance with the federal law.
Today, BP has only paid approximately 4 billion dollars in claims out of its 20 billion dollar fund. BP’s claims administrator recently stated that BP has processed 88 percent of all interim and final claims received. It is important to remember that certain claims may be filed with BP until August 2013. If you or a loved one has suffered injury as a result of the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill, you may have legal rights. An experienced attorney can assist you in filing your claims and satisfying BP’s procedural requirements. For questions, contact Broussard & David at 1-888-337-2323 (toll free) or 337-233-2323 (local).