Deepwater Horizon Claims: Presentment Deadline January 18

January 18, 2013 marks an important deadline for those persons and businesses with economic loss claims stemming from the BP oil spill who have either opted out or do not fall within the Economic Class Settlement, including banks, insurance brokers, real estate developers, local governments, offshore service and support, casinos and casino workers, oil and gas, and other companies or employees making “moratorium claims.” A claim arising under the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) must be both “presented and filed” to BP within three years of the spill, which is April 20, 2013. “Presentment” is a mandatory first step toward bringing suit whereby a claimant must make a request in writing for a certain sum for each category of uncompensated damages or removal costs; and specify other details including identifying information such as a general description of the incident, costs, causation, evidence, and steps taken to mitigate damage. Presentment must be made ninety days prior to the filing of any suit to ostensibly give BP an opportunity to make those claims prior to litigation. Those who need to present should be sure to comply with the requirements of OPA; especially in demanding a specific “sum[s] certain” and by providing sufficient supporting documentation. BP may argue that claims made to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility do not constitute valid presentment. Therefore, those with economic loss claims who are excluded from the settlement should make presentment upon BP’s new OPA Claims facility.