BP may soon be paying business claims again

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - BP put a hold on paying claims to businesses when it filed an appeal last October, but Attorney Matthew Mestayer said a recent ruling gives him hope his clients could soon be paid.

"It was a big ruling Friday which resolved 85 to 90 percent of the remaining issues on the appeal," Mestayer said.

"They think it will be about three weeks until the next appeal is heard and issued a decision upon. That will resolve the remaining issues and hopefully, they believe, the injunction will be lifted the claims process will go forward again and cases will again be paid."

This will be welcome news to many South Mississippi businesses struggling to survive since taking a hit from the oil spill nearly four years ago.

"I have had a lot of businesses who have put in their life savings to keep their businesses afloat," Mestayer said.

"This is not a hand me out, it's not a freebie, it is well deserved. It really restores them to where they were pre-spill. No one is really making a fortune, it's making them whole from what they lost several years after the spill."

Even though getting BP to again pay businesses will be a big relief to some, Mestayer believes it could still be a while before the company is finished paying everyone hurt by the 2010 Gulf oil spill.

"Some people had the option to what's called 'opt out' of the claims process and go for the regular litigation route, so that's going to take a few years. We have not heard the last of BP. It's going to be a couple of years before we hear the last of it."

If you have not yet filed a claim, and you have been affected by the BP oil spill, you have until April 20. This is the final deadline. No more claims will be accepted after April 20, 2014.

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