Alabama AG issues consumer alert about oil spill claims process

posted on:
November 18, 2010

author:
STAFF

category:
Environmental

The Mobile Press-Register is reporting that Alabama Attorney General Troy King has issued a “consumer alert” about the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, which is handling claims related to the BP oil spill disaster. According to the paper, the alert, issued this morning, says claims administrator Ken Feinberg has been misleading oil spill victims about the claims process.

The advisory warns consumers that Feinberg “works for BP” and as a result is not neutral in his treatment of damage claims filed by oil spill victims. King says people harmed by the oil spill should use caution when deciding whether or not to join the Feinberg-led claims process instead of filing their own lawsuit. He said many claims are still unpaid, or have not been adequately paid by the fund.

The Press-Register spoke with Feinberg, who told reporter George Altman that the Attorney General’s advisory is “misleading,” and that the BP claims process is focused on making sure eligible claims get paid.

Beasley Allen attorneys have filed a number of lawsuits in District Courts in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida and Louisiana to help protect businesses and individuals harmed by the oil spill.  Complaints have been filed on behalf of a broad range of clients including commercial fishing businesses, retail establishments, the restaurant industry, real estate management companies, property owners, persons suffering personal injuries and others.

In August, cases related to the BP Oil Spill were consolidated under U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans. Beasley Allen attorney Rhon Jones, who heads the firms Environmental Law section, has been chosen to help direct litigation as a member of the Plaintiffs Steering Committee in the multidistrict litigation.

Consolidating the cases into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) allows the committee overseeing the process to put more pressure and focus on moving the case forward, moving cases more quickly to resolution. Lawyers will coordinate the litigation and work together on issues of discovery.

Read the Press Register story.

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