To sue or not to sue, this has been a question on the minds of many in the Gulf Coast.
As things currently stand, if a claimant accepts a final payment from the $20 billion dollar escrow fund being run by Ken Feinberg, that claimant gives up their right to sue for punitive damages, but in a new rule being considered by Feinberg, these claimants would also be forced to transfer their rights to sue other defendants to British Petroleum.
In other words:
Accept a final payment from the fund and you can’t sue BP, Transocean or Halliburton for punitive damages.
Accept a final payment from the fund and you transfer your legal rights to BP, who can then use them to sue Transocean or Halliburton, thus collecting the money to supplement their $20 billion dollar escrow fund, supplementing the fund with compensation that should have gone to the Gulf Coast residents.
Ken Feinberg, apparently anticipating a possible backlash, e-mailed a statement saying the language in the proposal is not final.
In other words:
Let’s float this idea out there and see how pissed off people get…if the reaction isn’t too bad and more importantly, if the press ignores it the way they ignore the rest of the Gulf Coast we’ll go through with it…but hey, if the outcry gets too big, we’ll just have to find another way to help out British Petroleum, do it more quietly, on the sly, because after all we are independent arbitrators, and we are here for the support of Gulf Coast residents.
Read the article:
Spill fund rules would shift rights to BP
Have a nice day.