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The Yau Law Firm
Focused on Protecting Businesses and Representing the Injured

BP Oil Spill Claims

BP's Deep Water Horizon oil drilling unit exploded on April 20, 2010. Since then, a catastrophic amount of oil has spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. Even the infamous Exxon Valdez spill in 1989 off the Alaska coast pales in comparison to the volume of oil that BP has spilled. Conceivably, this disaster can be the largest and most devastating oil spill in history.

Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas are directly impacted. The effects of the BP oil spill are lethal to the ecosystems and wildlife in those states. The businesses in the Gulf states are suffering. Volunteers and employees dedicated to the clean up are falling ill, due to toxins related to the oil spill.

BP has earmarked $20 billion to compensate parties who have suffered specific types of injury or damage related to the spill. As of July 10, 2010, $165 million in claims has already been paid.

Numerous industries may be affected by the oil spill. Among them, are:

  • RESTAURANTS: particularly, seafood restaurants and those located in Gulf coast cities
  • HOSPITALITY: hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts
  • TOURISM: Florida’s attractions visited in conjunction with the beaches
  • SERVICE & RETAIL: especially those businesses catering to Florida’s tourists
  • TRANSPORTATION: mainly, trucking and delivery companies accustomed to sending goods from Gulf coast cities to other destinations

Oil Spill Image

Oil Spill Image

At the Yau Law Firm, we are assisting people and businesses affected by the oil spill. Contact us for a consultation if your losses are related to one of the following categories:

Lost Profits or Earning Capacity

Who this most affects: businesses in the restaurant, hospitality, tourism, retail, and services industries.

The Yau Law Firm is dedicated to protecting businesses. With a thorough review of Profit and Loss statements, tax return history, and other documents, the Yau Law Firm can decide whether the BP spill has resulted in lost profits or a loss in earning capacity.

LOST PROFITS refers to profits that would have been earned, if not for the oil spill. Lost profits can be the result of:

  • Cancelled business contracts,
  • A decline in reservations at hotels or restaurants, or
  • A decrease in retail sales due to diminished tourist traffic due to oil spill concerns.

LOST EARNING CAPACITY refers to the reduced ability (or total inability) to engage in business activities. The most obvious examples would be fishermen, crabbers, and shrimpers who can no longer catch seafood in the Gulf. However, this can also extend to:

  • Restaurants that are forced to pay more to have seafood brought in from other parts of the country or overseas,
  • Transportation companies, truck drivers, and distributors in Gulf states that are no longer being hired to bring Gulf state goods to other parts of the country, or
  • Property owners, hotels, bed & breakfasts, and other hospitality-related businesses that must advertise more heavily and/or dramatically decrease rates to attract tenants and guests.

Illness and Injury

The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 provides for many categories of compensation, but does not compensate for bodily injury or illness. Regardless, the Yau Law Firm is committed to representing the injured. We will evaluate your medical records, and discuss your case with you.

If you have been involved in oil spill clean-up, animal rescue, or otherwise worked long hours in close proximity to the oil spill, seek immediate medical assistance if you are injured or feel ill, especially if you exhibit the following symptoms:

  • DEHYDRATION: Workers enduring long hours under the summer sun in the Gulf of Mexico, combined with strenuous physical activity may suffer from dehydration
  • LUNG IRRITATION: The oil itself produces vapors that can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. Dispersants, including Corexit, are used to break up the oil, but toxic fumes from these dispersants can also have adverse effects on the respiratory system.
  • NAUSEA, DIZZINESS, HEADACHES: Many workers involved with the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill reported these symptoms. For some, these symptoms were temporary. For others, they were early indicators of more serious illnesses.
  • SKIN IRRITATION: Contact with the oil and with dispersants can cause rashes, dry skin, and other types of skin conditions.

Property Damage

Although property damaged by oil is easy to see, the difficulty is in evaluating how much it will cost to repair, restore, or replace the damaged property. It is critical to document the damage. Photos, videos, and invoices from clean-up efforts are important. Parties with a viable claim may include:

  • Boat and watercraft owners,
  • Owners of beach property, or
  • Businesses operating marinas, or maintaining piers or docks.

Guide for businesses & individuals filing their own BP oil spill claim

Jacksonville/St. Augustine Seminar

Florida Coastal School of Law, Room 585
8787 Baypine Road
Jacksonville, FL 32256

Noon – 1:00
Friday, August 20, 2010

$20 per person (prior to August 13) $25 per person (after August 13 and at the door)
Includes lunch
Checks and cash only

Subject line: RSVP for Jacksonville Seminar

Pensacola/Destin Seminar


Thursday, August 26, 2010

$20 per person (prior to August 20) $25 per person (after August 20 and at the door)
Includes lunch
Checks and cash only

Subject line: RSVP for Pensacola/Destin Seminar

St. Pete/Clearwater Seminar

St. Petersburg/Clearwater

Friday, August 27, 2010

$20 per person (prior to August 20) $25 per person (after August 20 and at the door)
Includes lunch
Checks and cash only

Subject line: RSVP for St. Petersburg/Clearwater Seminar