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Deadline looms for BP business settlement along Gulf Coast
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Deadline looms for BP business settlement along Gulf Coast

Pasco County, Florida -- It's been almost four years since the Deepwater Horizon explosion dumped billions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

In 2012, BP negotiated a settlement to pay people and businesses, and now a deadline for claims is fast approaching.

There's only about a month left for claims, and businesses -- even some you may not suspect -- could be eligible for a "BP payout."

Dan Ebbecke was working hard on a rainy March afternoon in Pasco County trying to sell his fresh produce. "It's a soggy one out there," he says. Customers? "Not too many today."

They're hard to find. Dan got into the blueberry farming business when he "saw the guy selling blueberry plants on the side of the road."

And after years as a Merchant Marine supplying parts for oil rigs, he's been in the blueberry business since 1996.

"It's been a long and fruitful business," he says.

Now, the former roughneck has a claim against BP for money lost on blueberry sales out of Hernando County after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. But how does an inland blueberry farm add up a claim like that? With the help of Frank Monte.

"The settlement is uncapped, unlimited," he said.

As part of the Centurion Financial Group, Monte runs a business in Wesley Chapel helping people and businesses understand whether they can get a piece of the oil-settlement pie.

He says if you have a business in any county that borders the west coast of Florida, it comes down to a formula.

"So instead of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the oil had anything to do with you, BP came up with this mathematical formula, and they call it a V Trend."

Run your business financials from before and after the spill, and if they meet the settlement criteria, you could be eligible no matter how far you are from the shore in a county bordering the water.

But the deadline is fast approaching, you only have until April 22 to make your claim.

For more information, click here.

Article By: Mark Rivera WTSP

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