Staff Report

The BP oil spill on April 20, 2010 was nothing short of disastrous.  Economically speaking, the financial impact still resonates across many industries in Florida and beyond, but now, with the Deepwater Horizon Settlement Program in place, businesses in counties along the Gulf Coast are finding the help they need for recovery.

Through the Program, BP is addressing the damage done to businesses in a fair, objective and reasonable manner.  Many business owners assume that its losses have to be directly related to the oil spill to qualify for the Settlement Program, but that’s simply not the case. Thanks to BP, billions of dollars will be coming directly back to businesses and the communities that felt the indirect, trickle-down effects and saw changes in their revenue.

Through the Deepwater Horizon Court-supervised Settlement Program, BP acknowledged that virtually every type of business was either directly or indirectly harmed, making nearly all types of businesses eligible for the settlement. The total settlement package is estimated to exceed $8.5 billion; however, there is no cap on the amount that may be paid to all businesses who qualify.

While the revenue loss does not have to be directly related to the oil spill, claimants must meet causation requirements based on geographic location and type of business.  Locally, job losses and economic uncertainty led to constricted consumer spending.  Businesses of all types – from construction companies and maritime business owners, to lawyers, dentists and architects began to feel the impact.

Filing can be complicated and cumbersome without legal counsel, but an evaluation can be done fairly simply by firms handling these claims.  For more information about the new BP Settlement Program, visit:  or

Information was furnished by Henry “Hank” Didier, Jr. who is a Founding Partner of Economic Recovery Group, LLC, a statewide law firm dedicated to helping clients navigate the BP Settlement Program.



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Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.