The Institutes

Federal Court Rejects NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ $19.5M Deepwater Horizon Compensation Claim

 Tuesday, May 28, 2019

 Biz Journals

A federal appeals court has ruled that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not entitled to compensation from BP related to the Deepwater Horizon explosion.

The issue, according to documents filed May 24 in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld a district court’s decision against the team, hinged on the Bucs’ accounting practices that were used to argue that the April 2010 disaster caused a decline in revenues.

The Bucs had sought $19.5 million from a Deepwater Horizon settlement program that established four post-spill impact zones. BP set up the program rather than having to litigate countless trials as 1,000 miles of the Gulf Coast were impacted by the explosion. The closer you lived to the spill, the more priority your claim had in the order of compensation.

Tampa is located in a zone designated as the furthest away from the spill.

Since the team’s stadium is 360 miles from the site of the explosion, the program required the Bucs to meet a “causation” test that involved proof of financial loss in the months following the spill and a financial rebound in the same months the next year.

The court found that the Bucs’ revenue from May to July 2010 was not significantly lower than its revenue during the same time a year later. To qualify for damage compensation, it had to show that revenues rebounded by at least 10 percent.

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