On November 24th, Ken Feinberg laid out two new options for individuals and businesses who want permanent relief from the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. The rules from Feinberg have changed almost daily. In the latest change, Claimants can now accept Feinberg’s offer for a lump sum payment to cover all past and future losses from the oil rig disaster. In exchange, applicants would have to give up their right to sue BP or any of its business partners. The alternative is that Claimants can seek quarterly payments, while keeping open their lawsuit options. It should be noted that Feinberg’s emergency claims process expired on November 23rd.
In the latest announcement, Feinberg also laid out an appeals process. After 90 days, a Claimant can appeal his decision to the U.S. Coast Guard and then to federal court. People and businesses with claims exceeding $250,000 also can appeal to a three-judge panel that Feinberg says will be set up. BP also can appeal claims exceeding $500,000. It’s very clear that both Feinberg and BP want to keep claimants out of the courts and also want to give BP the sole right to make claims against the other wrongdoers.
Source: Mobile Press Register