The Montgomery Advertiser talked to owners of a number of Alabama restaurants about the difficulties they are facing in the wake of the BP oil spill, and through the claims process. Owners of Montgomery’s Capitol Oyster Bar were forced to close their doors after 15 years in business, when customers avoided seafood following the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last April. Others, like owners of Destin Connection seafood market, and Birmingham’s Fish Market restaurant, are still trying to recover from consumer fears and high seafood prices driven by limited availability.
Reporter Mary Sell says about 1,600 businesses in the Gulf Coast region, many of them restaurants, have turned to Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. for assistance in navigating the often confusing and tedious claims process. The Alabama Restaurant Association encouraged its members to seek legal representation before taking on the claims process as well, she reports.
The story quotes Rhon Jones, head of Beasley Allen’s toxic torts section and a member of the Plaintiff Steering Committee for the oil spill claims multidistrict litigation, who advises restaurant and other business owners to carefully consider before accepting a settlement from the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, the organization set up to administer the $20 billion fund set up by BP to compensate those damaged by the oil spill. He tells the Montgomery Advertiser, “You don’t want people signing a final release when you don’t know the full extent of your harm.”
Read the full story at the Montgomery Advertiser online.
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