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SFIA Members Based in Gulf Coast may be Eligible for BP Oil Spill Claim

Date: 2/5/13

Listed below is an outline of the truly remarkable BP Settlement that provides individuals and businesses in the Gulf South with a unique opportunity to mitigate their economic losses. SFIA members with physical locations in LA, MS, AL and parts of TX and FL will want to take note that this is not your typical class action settlement. Rather, it is more akin to an administrative claims process. 

What if the BP oil spill had nothing to do with a member’s business or lost revenue?
Importantly, the Settlement does not require a business to prove a direct causal link in lost revenue to the oil spill. Rather, it must only show that the gross revenue numbers match the test(s) outlined in the agreement.
 
Do SFIA Members Qualify?
The test most likely to apply to SFIA corporate members who design, manufacture, market and sell products in the sports and fitness marketplace - as well as other non-traditional SFIA members (i.e. marketing agencies, consultants, non-athletic goods manufacturers, independent sales agencies, non-profit organizations, etc.) - is as follows:
 
Did your business or entity OWN, OPERATE, or LEASE a physical facility…in the Gulf Coast Areas between 4/20/10 and 4/16/12?
 
AND
 
Sell products in the Gulf Coast Areas: (a) directly to Consumers or End Users of those products; or (b) to another Entity that sold those products to Consumers or End Users of those products.
 
OR
 
Was your business or Entity a service business with one or more full-time employees who performed full-time services while physically present in the Gulf Coast Areas between 4/20/10 and 4/16/12?
 
Gulf Coast Areas - is defined as including the entire states of Louisiana, Mississippi, or Alabama, but only select counties in Texas and Florida. There is an interactive map tool on the court supervised settlement program website which can be used to quickly determine if your facility is within the Gulf Coast Area - http://www.deepwaterhorizoneconomicsettlement.com/maps.php
 
If a business qualifies under the 1st part of the test above what kind of revenue loss is required to recover from the Fund?
In summary, a claimant must show a loss in revenue from 2009 to 2010, and then an increase in gross revenue into 2011. While two additional revenue pattern tests are available to establish causation (“Modified V” and “Down Only”), the V-test is the easiest way to check if you are eligible to make a claim in the Settlement. [NOTE: For numerous reasons, some businesses never recovered and, as such, the “Down Only” revenue pattern allows a business to make a claim even when revenue did not increase following a loss from ’09-10. Nonetheless, the most efficient way to recover is by establishing the V-pattern.]
 
The simplest way to determine if your revenue V- pattern qualifies is to look at your gross revenue numbers from 2007 to 2011. Three different ways to establish the necessary V-pattern  are as follows:
 
Select three consecutive months in 2009 between May and December (Benchmark Period) and compare the gross revenue to the same three months in 2010 and then in 2011.
Average of three chosen consecutive months from 2008-2009, compared to the same three months in 2010, and then 2011.
Average of three chosen consecutive months from 2007-2009, compared to the same three months in 2010, and then 2011.
 
You then compare the gross revenue numbers. Depending on the business’ location (Economic Zone A, B, C or D), it must show a V-pattern. The worst case scenario (generally for businesses located north of I-10 in Zone D) is a Claimant has to show a 15% decrease in revenue from 2009 to 2010, and then a 10% increase in 2011 during the same period.  In areas closer to the Gulf Coast, a business may only have to show a 8.5% decrease and a 5% increase. The revenue pattern requirements are explained in more detail in Exhibit 4B at the following link: Here
 
Is there a deadline to file a claim?
April 22, 2014
 
Did BP or the Court limit the total amount of the Settlement?
While BP has estimated that the total costs of the Settlement will be approximately $7.8 billion, amazingly, there is no limit on the total amount of the Fund. The actual total amount paid out will depend on the number of qualified claims made, and could be higher or lower than BP's estimate.
 
What special gift applies to many SFIA members?
The Tourism multiplier allows certain industries to significantly increase their claims. Some examples of what the Settlement Fund defines as Tourism entities will be of interest to numerous SFIA members:
 
Sporting Goods Stores
Clothing Stores
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores
Recreational Goods Rental
Sports Teams and Clubs
Golf Courses and Country Clubs
All Other Amusement and Recreation Industries (i.e. Athletic Clubs, Sports teams and leagues, etc.)
 
See complete list of Tourism industries at: Here
 

 

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