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$7.8 billion Deepwater Horizon settlements noticed

Hilsoft Notifications is the court-appointed notice administrator for two settlements related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, valued at $7.8 billion.

The Challenge

The client, British Petroleum (BP), needed a notice program that would be commensurate in size and scope with the historical importance of the settlements. Both settlements are extremely complex and all notice documents needed to be rendered in plain language.

The Process

Settlement notices were mailed and emailed to known class member, and appeared nationally and locally in more than 2,000 print publications.

Approximately 10,000 television and radio spots aired across 26 media markets stretching from Houston to Miami. Notices appeared in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. It is estimated that more than 95% of all adults living in the Gulf Area will be exposed to the notice more than 11 times. Nationally, more than 83% of all adults in the United States will have an opportunity to see the notice. In total, the notice effort is one of the largest, if not the largest, ever undertaken in a class action settlement.

Hilsoft also custom-built a Deepwater Horizon settlement website that houses key dates, detailed notices, settlement agreements, court documents and general information in three languages. The website may need to remain active for decades.

Notification

Hilsoft consultants worked closely with BP and BP’s counsel to craft a thorough, defensible notice plan and draft multiple notice documents. The team worked closely with the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee and other experts, providing valuable input into the settlements. Ultimately, notification was broken down according to settlement type and spread across many media outlets to reach BP’s potential class members:

For the medical claims settlement, Hilsoft worked with its parent company, Epiq, to process and manage individual notice efforts including:

  • Data cleanup: Epiq processed 750,000+ records, many of which were duplicative or incomplete. Through data cleanup, Epiq reduced the final recipient count to around 250,000.
  • Targeted email notification to 50,000+

The Results

Hilsoft Notifications created a comprehensive notice plan for each settlement that received Preliminary Approval from the court. During the implementation stage, millions of potential class members have been exposed to the notice and given the opportunity to participate in, opt-out of or object to either or both settlements. Epiq’s data work on the medical settlement reduced email notification volumes while increasing email notification accuracy.

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