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BP Claim Appeals and Baseball

What does baseball have to do with BP claim appeals? Is it three strikes you’re out when it comes to BP claims? Actually, you only have two strikes under the Deepwater Horizon Claims Center Economic & Property Damage Claims settlement agreement drawn up by British Petroleum (BP) to recompense those who have been affected by the April 2010 explosion of its Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The first one is when you make a claim, and the second one is when you are given a notice of appeal.

Under the agreement, affected parties can make a claim against the settlement fund put up by BP for individual as well as business losses. This is a huge undertaking considering that the explosion effectively closed down most businesses in the surrounding coastal cities, leaving thousands without a means of livelihood and health problems as well as messed up the environment.

But BP had slipped in a clause that they could challenge any claim over $25,000 using what is popularly called baseball arbitration rules. This in reference to the days when baseball players and team managers could each submit a salary proposal to a three-person arbitration panel who will then decide which proposal will be accepted. According to the Williams Kherkher resource website, BP has successfully challenged more than three-fourths of the claims using this option.

When a claimant receives a notice of appeal from BP, the wheels are set in motion for the denial of a claim altogether. BP is counting on the fact that a majority of claimants will have only the vaguest ideas of how to maneuver in legal waters, and hope that the tight deadlines of the claim appeals process would get them off cleanly. In some instances, claimants failed to respond with a counter-proposal in due time and ended up with no compensation at all.

This is why it is important for claimants to be informed, but it is undeniably difficult for a layperson to understand the law. In lieu of personal understanding, claimants are advised to consult with experienced BP claim appeals lawyers as soon as they receive a notice of appeal.