Thursday, May 24, 2012

BP Oil Spill Settlement: Vessels of Opportunity (VOO) Claims

The recently announced class action settlement in the BP Oil Spill litigation includes claims for owners of vessels registered with the Vessels of Opportunity (VOO) program. The VOO program was initiated by BP after the oil spill and was intended to allow local vessel owners an opportunity to participate in the oil spill clean up operations. The registered vessels were required to be on "stand-by" and the owners had to complete extensive training in advance of receiving a VOO contract. However, many vessels that were registered with the program were either never called into service or used sparingly. Also, some vessels suffered damages in the clean-up operation. In the lawsuit VOO owners claimed that their contract with BP called for payment whether the vessel was put into operation or not and required payment for a specified "usage" period. They also claimed that BP had agreed to compensate vessel owners for any damges to the vessels incurred during the clean-up operations.

Under the proposed settlement, all vessel owners who executed VOO Master Vessel Charter Agreements and completed the initial VOO training program are entitled to compensation under the terms of the BP Settlement Agreement. The fact a vessel owner has previously executed a release of liability against BP or other responsible parties for other claims does not matter. Compensation is determined based on whether the vessel was placed “on-hire” and participated in the program or "on-standby". All VOO vessel owners will get a specified standard charter rate for a set number of days.

If you are a vessel owner and you signed up for the VOO program, you may have a claim for damages under the new class action settlement. For more information, call Knox Boteler at Boteler, Finley & Wolfe, 251 433-7766 or toll free at 1 866 975-7766 or e-mail Knox at

[Notice of copyright: This summary is the work product of the law firm of Boteler, Finley & Wolfe and can not be copied or reproduced for monetary gain or benefit. It is protected from unauthorized reproduction via DigiCrypt.]

1 comment:

Expert Witnesses said...

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