I’ve written a number of things about Ken Feinberg in the past, but one of the many things that continues to stick in my mind is in regards to the $20 billion dollar escrow account, and how Feinberg predicted that after all is said and done, he will pay out $6 billion dollars and the remaining $14 billion dollars will be given back to British Petroleum.
This newer information, which he stated to Fox news, is an important lens through which to view all things claims related, and in doing so, eyebrows raise when reading such things as:
Kenneth Feinberg has recently been making the rounds on national television to give interviews about the claims fund. In these interviews, his once “white knight” tones of hope, the same tones he rode into the Gulf Coast on, have now changed to harsher, more dismissive arguments which paint Gulf Coast residents as people who don’t know how to properly document a claim or just get on with their lives.
Feinberg says, “A fisherman will apply and say: ‘I lost $30,000 during the spill because I couldn’t fish, pay me’ and he attaches his fishing license with no further documentation.”
In discussing how his final settlement option is better than a lawsuit, Feinberg says, “I hope my lump–sum payment will be sufficiently generous to take into account the unknown future that many claimants will see the wisdom of taking the lump–sum payment and move on with life.”
In my readings of these statements, the first comes off as rather dismissive and the second wholly insensitive to what people are suffering through. Coming from a wealthy Boston attorney who is being paid millions of dollars for this job, getting on with life is something that will be rather simple to do once the job is done, but for the people of the Gulf Coast, as Feinberg puts it himself, they have an “unknown future.” This can make moving on rather difficult and perhaps Ken might be better served assisting with documentation or thinking outside of the box on claims payments as opposed to giving national interviews and painting people harmed by this spill as ignorant.
Are you trying to help Ken, or are you making your case in the national media to justify figures such as this:
- More than 55,000 Alabama individuals and businesses had filed for compensation from his Gulf Coast Claims Facility. More than 21,000 had been paid, with more than 16,000 — 77 percent — being paid at or above the amount they requested.
- About 1,300 individuals and businesses received less than 25 percent of the amount of money they requested. Another 1,300 received 25 to 50 percent. Another 1,300 claimants received 50 to 75 percent. And about 900 received 75 to 100 percent.
- More than 1,500 claimants sought $100,000 or more. About 700 were paid, but only 39 percent received the amount they requested.
- There were 101 claims filed for $1 million or more. Thirty-five of those were paid, but none for the amount sought
And as I wrote before, keeping in mind that any money he doesn’t pay out goes back to British Petroleum in the end, I have fewer questions about bad claims and more questions about whose interests you serve because you seem far from neutral and much more inclined to be on the side of your own self-promotion and the interests of British Petroleum.
Either way, it’s a nearly impossible thing to cast BP and their response over the past seven months in a positive light, but by comparison it would seem you are doing the best you can.
Have a nice day.