New BP Claims Facility Opens Tomorrow

Beginning Monday, August 23, 2010, all those who have a claim to file must do it through the Gulf Coast Claims Facility run by Kenneth Feinberg, President Obama’s pay czar. Claims will be accepted from August 23 through November 23, 2010.

According to their website . . .

The Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF), administered by Kenneth R. Feinberg, has been established to assist claimants in filing claims for costs and damages incurred as a result of the oil spill resulting from the Deepwater Horizon Incident of April 20, 2010. Claims previously filed with the BP Claims Process have been transitioned to the new GCCF Claims Facility for review, evaluation and determination by the GCCF.

The rules for settling with BP include agreeing not to sue them later. If you think you have a claim, it’s your choice. Settle with them now, or go to court and wait years for whatever is left over after the lawyers take their share.

People affected by the spill seeking final settlements will face a choice: If they decide to sue instead of accepting a settlement, they could face years of litigation; and if they decide to accept the settlement, it could come before the full damage from the spill is known.

The new rules for the claims process were released Friday by Washington lawyer Kenneth Feinberg, who was chosen by President Obama to run the fund and who previously oversaw claims for the victims of 9/11.

Beginning Monday, the claims will begin to be handled by Feinberg rather than BP, which is still footing the entire $20 billion bill.

Who gets paid and who does not will depend largely on how much proof there is that losses were caused by the spill and not by something else, such as the recession. Feinberg’s guidelines say that key factors include a claimant’s geographic proximity to the disaster and how much the business or property is linked to “injured natural resources.”

Feinberg elaborated on his reasoning during town meetings this week in Louisiana. “How close are you to the beach? To the gulf?” he said. “. . . That’s a major factor.”

For instance, fishermen, shrimpers, and seafood processors as well as hotel and restaurant owners with beachfront property in areas where oil washed ashore will have the easiest time getting reimbursed. An ice cream parlor or golf course miles from the affected shore but along the main highway headed to the beach would not be eligible, according to documents obtained by the New York Times.

Link: New rules limit claims for oil spillGCCF – Gulf Coast Claims Facility

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