This is probably the biggest environmental disaster we have ever faced in this country. It is certainly the biggest oil spill and we are responding with the biggest environmental response - Carol Browner, Barack Obama's adviser on energy and climate
(PRWEB) May 27, 2011
While thousands of BP claims sit unpaid and leaving families struggling to survive, BP has paid $10 million to one business, as noted in a Houston Chronicle article. For confidentiality purposes, the business name has not been identified by BP, and the Gulf Coast Claims Facility states that it had no part in the decision process for the payout, though the money was deducted from the Gulf Coast Claims Facility fund.
(Released by Danziger & De Llano, LLP to help BP claimants obtain financial compensation.)
The Gulf Coast Claims Facility was organized in August 2010 to independently pay oil spill claims with a starting balance of $20 billion in the fund. Individuals and businesses who have been victims of the April 20 BP oil spill are still waiting for settlement checks to cover their losses, according to a Houston Chronicle article.
“At the request of the parties, the settlement reached between BP and the other party was paid out of the GCCF fund,” Kenneth Feinberg, administrator of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility fund, told the Associated Press. “It was a private settlement and we paid it, but we were not privy to the settlement negotiations between BP and that party.
“We never reviewed the claim,” Feinberg added. “We honored the request of the parties to fund the claim.” (stated in a recent news article written by the Houston Chronicle)
According to BP spokeswoman, Hejdi Feick, it is “a unique situation in which an existing BP business partner and BP submitted a view on a specific claim,” to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility.
In an email to the Associated Press, Feick wrote: the facility “reviewed our positions and made an independent decision regarding the outcome of the claim.”
According to Feinberg, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility did not review the claim for merit. They were only instructed to make the payout. Thousands of people who filled out BP claim forms are still waiting for their payouts, as noted in Houston Chronicle article.
While Feinberg’s law firm has been receiving $850,000 per month for overseeing the BP oil claims process, victims of the BP oil spill are lucky to receive small amounts of money to hold them over until a final settlement check is received, Houston Chronicle article noted.
According to Mayor Tony Kennon of Orange Beach, Ala., an area strongly affected by the BP oil spill, the quick settlement payment “reeks of favoritism.”
“It stinks. It’s exactly what we’ve been screaming about. There’s not an independent entity. There’s no oversight,” said Kennon.
The current options for BP oil claims stipulated in a Houston Chronicle article are: receiving a quick cash one-time payment for $5,000 for individuals and $25,000 for businesses and losing the option of filing a lawsuit against BP or receiving future money; a final settlement which ensures people filing oil spill claims give up their right to hire a lawyer; or filing an oil spill claim form to receive interim quarterly payments through August 2013, for as long as proof is shown of continued losses.
One of the downsides to taking one of the options issued by the Gulf Coast Claims Facility is that oil spill claims forms are often denied, as noted in Houston Chronicle article.
While Feinberg and the Gulf Coast Claims Facility have already promised fairness and transparency for the BP oil claims process, close to half of oil spill claim forms are being denied due to ineligibility or lack of documentation, it says in a Houston Chronicle article. This means BP claims are not getting paid and thousands of victims are not being helped from a situation that was completely out of their hands.
If you haven’t been paid what you are entitled by BP and the Gulf Coast Claims Facility and you would like to contact an experienced oil spill claims lawyer.
Information for this article obtained from the Houston Chronicle