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Mar 09

BP BEGINS SETTLEMENT PROCESS

By Greg Fink

Local citizens now have another chance to file a claim against BP for losses due to the April 2010 oil spill on the Gulf Coast.

The oil spill, which dumped nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the ocean, damaged not only the local ecological environment, but the local economy as well.

Attorney Neil Overholtz, partner at Aylstock, Winton, Kreis and Overholtz PLLAC, says his firm has been in the lead dealing with local citizens and business filing claims.
“We definitely think that going the route of litigation is a positive development and a necessary part of the process,” Overholtz explains.

Speaking on the simplified filing process, Overholtz states, “the model this will be set up in will give greater flexibility for those making the claims regarding the information they are being asked to provide.”

According to Overholtz, the filing system is accommodating to a vast array of individuals because each claim model is fitted to each type of industry affected.

“This way we are not going to be trying to fit a square peg in a round whole,” said Overholtz. “Rather, everyone filing a claim will be judged and evaluated depending on the industry they are filing for.”

Overholtz also mentions that this claim will be available to those people who have already filed with the GCCF and to those who have not filed at all due to the former strenuous process.

“A great number of individuals were frustrated with the earlier process,” he said. “This process will be much more objective and much more streamline.”

Overholtz also added, “The rules of this class action claim are underneath the federal settlement rules and procedures driven by parties not paid for by BP.”

In response to when people can file, Overholtz states that a “complete and agreed upon” class-action wording should be approved within the next couple of weeks. ­Levin Papantonio law firm for our case.”

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