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BP Oil Spill Administrator Can’t Say He’s Independent | 24-7-news.com cialis online

BP Oil Spill Administrator Can’t Say He’s Independent

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A federal judge has ruled that Kenneth Feinberg, the administrator charged with overseeing BP oil spill claims, is not independent of the oil company, and has ordered BP to make sure oil spill claimants are informed that they have the right to be represented by a lawyer in filing their claim. According to a Reuters report, Feinberg, who has held a series of town hall meetings in Gulf Coast communities impacted by the BP oil spill, often “reminds” potential claimants that they do not need a lawyer to take their claim to his fund

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled yesterday that BP cannot characterize Feinberg as “neutral,” and said BP must disclose in all communications that the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) and Feinberg are acting on behalf of BP in fulfilling its legal obligations under the Oil Pollution Act.

BP is paying Feinberg’s law firm $850,000 a month to run the claims fund. Feinberg has been accused of using misleading tactics to persuade thousands of potential claimants to sign away their rights to sue the company in exchange for smaller payments than they might win in a lawsuit.

“A full disclosure of the relationship between Mr. Feinberg, the GCCF, and BP will at least make transparent that it is BP’s interests” that Feinberg is promoting in his role as head of the fund, Judge Barbier said in a 15-page ruling.

In the wake of the spill, BP agreed to provide at least $20 billion to compensate victims of the disaster, to be administered by Feinberg via the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. Claimants may accept interim payments without waiving any of their legal rights. Accepting a final payment of long-term damages requires claimants to release BP and any responsible parties. Claimants are able to Emergency Advance Payment(s) and reject the final payment if they find it to be unsatisfactory.

The BP oil spill claims fund has so far disbursed around $3.5 billion. Half of the 484,000 claims filed have been denied because of ineligibility or lack of documentation.

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