We have spoken to many companies about filing BP claims for their portion of the settlement funds. One response we have gotten has been, "We don't do any work on the Gulf, and we are not in the tourism or seafood business. Why would we have a claim? We don't want to just try to profit off of something."
Maybe that's the wrong way to look at it. Economics is a complicated subject. There are ripple effects from events such as the Gulf Oil Spill. The fact is many businesses in Gulf Coast States were indirectly damaged by the Oil Spill. Our expert accountants and economists have reviewed more than 200 businesses having nothing to do with Tourism and Seafood that show a clear correlation to the disaster. The narratives are easy to describe. Tourist-related employees lost their jobs, earned less money and had less confidence in their incomes. These people spent less money getting their dog's teeth cleaned, going to movies and eating steak.
If a claim is not filed, the money sits in an account for 2 years then reverts to BP, where it is a rounding error. Or, businesses that were impacted may claim this money, bring it back to their hometown and spend it, benefiting the local economy. This is a Settlement Agreement. BP has acknowledged that the claimants were injured. They had their own attorneys who agreed to the process.
If you don't have a look at your finances from 2007-2011, how do you know you weren't injured in some way? Maybe it's a coincidence, but it would be a big one, and even if you don't want the money for your company, you could give it to a local charity instead of letting it go back to BP. Remember, this would not be happening if BP had been more careful. Furthermore, BP is the one getting the deal here: They are getting an incredible amount of public relations, and millions of unknowing Claimants will never collect their due. Plus, BP is receiving indemnification from numerous entities.