FRLA Oil Spill Claims Information

September 2010 — The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) today announced it will hold 19 statewide briefings in 14 cities across the state in areas that have been impacted by actual and perceived oil along Florida coasts. Pensacola, Florida will serve as host location to the first meeting being held Monday, October 4, with Port St. Joe completing the tour on Wednesday, October 20, 2010. Three webinars currently scheduled for October 8, 19 and 26 are available to those unable to attend the briefings.

Click Here for Statewide Schedule for Regional Briefings

“Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association members have filed claims through BP and subsequently through the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, with no relief,” said FRLA President and CEO Carol Dover. “Many of our members are under the false impression they do not have a legitimate claim, when in fact they do. For this reason, we believe our members need to be fully informed about filing a claim for economic recovery dollars,” continued Dover, who also serves on the Governor’s Gulf Oil Spill Economic Recovery Task Force and its Economic Impact Assessment Working Group.

FRLA is working with the law firms of Weitz & Luxenberg, Levin Papantonio and Cooney & Conway. These firms will provide an overview of the claims process and assist in determining whether a claim exists for losses due to the BP oil spill and, if so, the extent of those losses going forward. The legal team will also be available to meet with attendees one-on-one to discuss individual claims.

The Association is encouraged by GCCF Administrator Ken Feinberg’s remarks at its September 14 annual board meeting in which he stated he is open to reconsider his blanket rejection of claims by hotels and restaurants that had losses despite not having oil on or nearby their property. Feinberg officially took over the claims process from British Petroleum on August 23, 2010.

August 2010 — The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association announced Wednesday, August 25 it will make available to its membership the opportunity to work with a consortium of law firms in order to file their claims through the Gulf Coast Compensation Fund (GCCF).  FRLA is working with three law firms, Weitz & Luxenberg of New York, Levin Papantonio of Florida, and Cooney & Conway of Illinois.

The decision to participate or retain legal counsel remains completely to each individual member, and does not preclude one from securing other representation.  This information is provided simply to brief members on available resources through FRLA and to be aware of important steps taking place to further protect our hospitality industry.

Through this consortium, there are no up-front costs to you.  The firms will charge a contingency fee at the end of the claims process or litigation.  Their fees are very fair and reasonable when compared to other similar law firms.

If you are interested in working with these firms, please contact lead firm Weitz & Luxenberg either by phone or any one of the three email addresses below.

Sean McCue at 212.558.5587
Angel Hertslet at 212.558.5925

Robin Greenwald at
Curt Marshall at
Lyudmyla Vayner at

* Please type on the subject line: “FRLA Legal Counsel Request”, followed by the name of your business.  For example:  FRLA Legal Counsel Request – ABC Hotel/Restaurant

For information about the firm specific to oil spill claims, please go to

For a copy of the letter from FRLA to its membership explaining more about the process, please click here.

FRLA will be announcing soon a schedule of local claims briefings with our team of attorneys beginning in Northwest Florida.  This will allow for maximum outreach to our local hoteliers and restaurateurs and the ability to walk them through the expedited claims process.  Please check back with for a list of scheduled briefings in the region.

About Weitz & Luxenberg
With its principal office in New York and additional offices in New Jersey and California, they have over 70 attorneys and a support staff of approximately 300. It was founded in 1986 by Perry Weitz, who is one of the most respected and experienced plaintiffs’ trial attorneys in the country. Of particular importance is Perry’s relationship with Ken Feinberg; they have worked together on large scale litigations for over 20 years and that history resulted in Perry and his firm heading a small committee of law firms negotiating the interim/emergency payment claims protocol on behalf of victims of the oil spill. No attorney in the country has a longer and closer working relationship with, and thus better access to, Ken Feinberg than does Perry.

Perry’s partner, Rob Gordon, is the firm’s chief trial attorney, having tried over 70 cases in his distinguished legal career. Robin Greenwald heads the firm’s environmental tort unit, and she has spent her entire 25+ years as a litigator advocating for the environment and victims of pollution, many of those years as a federal environmental prosecutor.  Perry, Rob and Robin were the 2009 Finalist for Public Justice Trial Lawyer of the Year Award.

About Levin Papantonio
This law firm probably needs no introduction in our State, as Fred Levin, the firm’s founder, is an icon of the Florida trial bar.  In 1999 Fred was named the Best Civil Litigator in Florida by the National Law Journal, and that same year the University of  Florida Law School was renamed the Fredric G. Levin College of Law.  Fred’s partner, Mike Papantonio, is the Firm’s chief trial attorney, is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host and was a 2007 Finalist for the Public Justice Trial Lawyer of the Year Award.

About Cooney & Conway
Founded in 1958, is a Chicago based firm with over 20 attorneys and 100 support staff. John Cooney, the firm’s managing partner, is recognized throughout the country for his leadership in plaintiffs’ mass tort litigation.  John also has worked with Ken Feinberg for 20+ years on multiple large litigations. John also was a finalist for the Public Justice Trial Lawyer of the Year Award.  His partner, Bill Fahey, is the Chief of the Firm’s mass tort department, who has tried to verdict or negotiated settlements in excess of $3 billion.