MIAMI, April 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- From Key West up the west coast of Florida to the Panhandle, a group of seven law firms is launching a series of town hall meetings to help Gulf Coast businesses file claims related to the 2010 Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill.
"Our goal is to educate business owners and residents about their legal options in the wake of a massive plaintiffs' settlement reached last month with BP," said Miami trial attorney Gabrielle D'Alemberte. A sixth generation Floridian whose family has deep roots in Pensacola and Tallahassee, D'Alemberte will be focusing primarily on helping businesses in the Florida Keys and North Florida.
The collaboration, nicknamed "Businesses by the Beach" has focused on education and sharing information about legal strategies for those businesses and homeowners who may not realize that they may have a claim. "Thousands of Gulf Coast businesses and residents experienced a decrease in revenues, or loss from the sale of their home in 2010," said D'Alemberte. "It is very likely that businesses of all kinds, even those that may not seem to be directly related to tourism may be eligible for compensation as long as they are located in coastal communities."
The first meetings of the Businesses by the Beach begin Tuesday under the guidance of Tampa attorney Thomas L. Young, who serves as the statewide coordinator for local Florida firms assisting individual homeowners, businesses and even local governments that were victims of the BP gulf oil spill.
"As attorneys we can help people navigate the claims process more quickly and efficiently, hopefully resulting in businesses being made whole again and money returning back into local economies," D'Alemberte said. "In the Keys, I am convinced that every single business, restaurant, construction companies, professional service organization, real estate firms, and even grocery stores will have eligible claims."
Working closely with D'Alemberte in the Keys will be Reginald Clyne of Clyne & Associates in Miami. Clyne, an African-American attorney, will focus on helping minority-owned businesses and individuals throughout Florida. "In general, minorities have been underrepresented in the BP litigation," Clyne said. "My role is to make sure people understand their rights, and assist in filing their claims in a timely manner so they can be compensated as quickly, as fairly and as equitable as everyone else."
The settlement agreement with BP will be submitted to the courts later this month, and the details are expected to be revealed at that point. Although the terms have not been made public, billions of dollars are expected to be available to claimants who live, work or own or lease property on the Gulf Coast of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and four Texas counties.
"Our group of Florida law firms serves as local ground support for claimants, providing help via email, telephone or in-person visits at our local offices," said D'Alemberte. As lead counsel for Businesses By The Beach, the South Carolina firm Motley Rice was instrumental as a plaintiff representative in the settlement process, playing a leading role in negotiating Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) claims for Floridians and people in other states.
In addition to Motley Rice, the Law Office of Thomas L. Young, the D'Alemberte Trial Firm, and Clyne & Associates, other Florida firms have joined forces in the Businesses by the Beach collaboration. They are the Fort-Myers firm of Wilbur Smith, the Sarasota firm of Robert Turffs, the Clearwater firm of Kwall, Showers & Barack, and the New Port Richey and the Clearwater firm of Lucas, Green & Magazine. For more information, visit: www.businessesbythebeach.com.
Gabrielle D'Alemberte is a partner in the D'Alemberte Trial Firm, a Miami plaintiff's litigation firm specializing in class actions, maritime/admiralty litigation, aviation and international resort injuries. She can be reached at 305.343.5304 or 305.446.3244 and [email protected].
SOURCE D’Alemberte Trial Firm