BP Oil Spill Press Release
The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) has announced that it has selected a consortium of three law firms, including Cooney & Conway, Weitz and Luxenberg, and Levin Papantonio to provide legal representation to hotels and restaurants that have suffered losses due to the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
In many cases, BP has either rejected the claims of these hotels and restaurants or has not yet paid them any recovery for economic damages-more than four months after the event.
Cooney & Conway, a nationally recognized firm based in Chicago, was chosen for its long history of working on behalf of individuals and businesses injured by a common event, whether it is asbestos exposure or, now, the catastrophic Gulf oil spill.
For months after the April 2010 explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig-a tragedy that took 11 lives-oil gushed uncontrollably into the Gulf, creating an environmental and financial disaster and impacting countless lives and livelihoods across Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.
Engaging top-tier legal representation became essential for FLRA’s members as “the BP claims process denied requests for emergency payments and/or paid merely pennies on the dollar in interim payments to our members,” said the association’s president and CEO, Carol Dover.
“We realized we had to seek legal counsel now to protect our membership and the future of Florida’s tourism,” she said.
Cooney & Conway, added Dover, is “well known for complex and mass tort litigation and for litigating against the largest corporations in the world.”
Along with the other two law firms selected, Cooney & Conway will be submitting, managing, and advocating claims before the newly established Gulf Coast Compensation Fund (GCCF) and its administrator, Kenneth Feinberg.
The firms will also spearhead any necessary litigation to obtain a single goal: complete compensation for hotels and restaurants that have suffered financial losses due to the Gulf spill. Those losses have been substantial. FLRA members have seen cancelled bookings and empty tables at a time when tourism should be booming. But they have not seen the just recovery that BP has publicly pledged.
“It is essential that Mr. Feinberg and the representatives of British Petroleum make good on their early promises in the media to make this right,” said John Cooney, founding partner of Cooney & Conway. “They have assured people throughout the Gulf region that their carelessness will not ruin businesses. It is now time to prove that.”
In its announcement selecting Cooney & Conway, the FLRA noted that it had interviewed a number of well respected and capable law firms, considering:
• Their creativity in mapping out members’ damages-both obvious (cancellations) and less clear (for example, lost profits that
could have been used for renovations and improvements that would have increased future bookings);
• The size of their legal and support staff;
• Their ability to fund what will inevitably be expensive litigation;
• Their relationship with GCCF administrator Kenneth Feinberg;
• Their approaches to helping FRLA members recover damages resulting from the oil spill.
In announcing the FRLA’s selection, Dover also noted that Cooney and the other firms “have a well-established system in place for submitting claims and, because of this system, are typically able to review and turn around materials for delivery to the GCCF within 48 hours.”
With so many businesses struggling to stay afloat, speed, of course, will be of the essence. For many, it will be their lifeline.
About Cooney & Conway
For more than half a century, the attorneys of Cooney & Conway have taken on the toughest causes — like asbestos litigation, mass torts, and catastrophic injuries — and gone up against some of the largest and most well-financed companies in the world. Our cases may be complex, but our philosophy is simple: We believe that people who are seriously injured or whose businesses are seriously impacted by the wrongful conduct of others deserve full compensation. They deserve highly qualified, experienced and ethical legal representation to assist them in achieving justice. That’s been our goal — and our mandate — since we opened our doors in 1958.