Businesses Fight Gulf-Oil Stigma More than a Year after the Spill
Businesses Fight Gulf-Oil Stigma More than a Year after the Spill, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility is not helping small business with their BP claims fast enough.
Although more than a year has passed since the BP Gulf oil spill, many businesses worry that the negative publicity surrounding the worst ecological disaster in U.S. history will continue to hurt their tepid recoveries.
Case in point is Capt. Rob Modys, the owner of the SoulMate Charters boat company in Naples, Fla. who immediately lost business as a result of the oil spill, even though it never reached Southwest Florida, according to the Naples Daily News.
Despite state regulators having tested 200 samples of water over the last year and only finding trace amounts of oil contaminants, businesses like Modys and commercial fishermen are hurt by the public’s perception that the water and seafood might not be safe.
A survey conducted nine months after the spill, confirmed that 60 percent of Florida consumers were still concerned about buying Gulf seafood. Still, the aftereffects of the spill could hurt Gulf seafood supplies for years to come. “We may lose a year class of fish, or a partial year class of fish” Glen Brooks, president of the Gulf Fishermen’s Association told the newspaper. “
That’s because pollutants from the oil spill killed millions of spawning fish larvae and the long-term effect could hurt Gulf fish supplies for five or more years, according to biologists.
Many Still Have Outstanding BP Claims
Meanwhile, many fishermen who lost their businesses as a result of the spill and dutifully filed claims more than a year ago have yet to receive any settlements from the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF)!“It’s pretty hard to put a fisherman out of business,” Bob Jones, executive director of the Southeastern Fisheries Association of Tallahassee, told the Naples Daily News. But waiting more than a year for a settlement from the GCCF can try the patience of even the most stoic fisherman, as he watches his life-long business wilt before his eyes.
These types of horror stories were never supposed to happen. That’s why the White House and BP agreed to create the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, or GCCF, .to ensure the $20 billion dollars BP initially set up in escrow to pay for the cleanup and damages was swiftly paid out to thousands of claimants hurt by the gargantuan off-shore oil spill.
To ensure that BP wouldn’t drag its feet, the White House appointed Kenneth R. Feinberg, the attorney who oversaw settlement payouts for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, as the third-party administrator to oversee the Gulf-Oil settlements.
At first, some individuals and small business claims were settled quickly. But after a few weeks into the process, many municipalities, business owners and individuals found their claims being lost, mishandled, buried in mountains of red tape and even outright rejected – without any satisfactory reason why.
Protect Your Interests In The BP Claims Process
Some small businesses like fishermen have been slow to seek legal counsel and filing a lawsuit against GCCF. They have been hoping to instead settle their claims promptly.
But, now that more than a year has passed by since the spill, more and more of them are initiating litigation to speed up their settlements and make sure they are justly compensated for their losses. If you have a small, medium of large business, and you are experiencing difficulties settling your BP claims with GCCF. Why not contact an attorney today for a free no-obligation consultation? Call: (888)-842-5246
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