Ed Note: Mr. Feinberg just released methodology on interim and final claims… More on that Friday…
In the past few days, Ken Feinberg and co. have come under increasing attack…
Bobby Jindal finally said something about the claims process and joined his Attorney General, Bobby Caldwell in filing a motion to request a federal judge to oversee the oil leaks claim process. Joining him is Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, who has examined the data from the GCCF website and believes British Petroleum is using the $20 billion dollar fund to stall interim payments and pressure “financially desperate” oil spill victims into accepting cheap settlements: the quick payment, which of course requires the claimant to waive all rights to sue British Petroleum. Jindal’s filing with the court notes this as well, and requests that the judge prohibit BP and the GCCF from requiring “overly broad releases” in exchange for paying claims.
Feinberg and the GCCF had no comment about the filings, but released their usual blanket statement an hour after Jindal’s press conference, detailing how much they have already paid out: $3.5 billion dollars in claims, including $750 million dollars in quick payments in the past six weeks.
This, of course demonstrates that Feinberg either doesn’t get it, or doesn’t care.
So if you’re reading this Ken…allow me to explain:
The problem, Mr. Feinberg, is that along with making people wait an interminable amount of time for final claims and interim payments (while you disperse quick payments) is that the people requesting interim and final payments are in terrible financial straits; every day they’re forced to wait is another day for the creditors to get closer. The other problem is you are demanding that the people who receive quick and final payments waive all right to sue the culprits who created this mess when the full extent of the Gulf damage can’t possibly be known.
Furthermore, the payments you have been making are woefully slight: the average individual claim paid so far is $8,574 dollars while the average business claim paid so far is $33, 727 dollars. And as Attorney General Hood says, “Assuming that these figures represent payment for six months’ worth of losses, the average individual was paid $1,429 per month, and the average business was paid $5,621 per month…these numbers seem quite low, considering the unprecedented magnitude of the economic hardship and loss that has resulted from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.”
So, let me say I don’t give a good goddamn how much you’ve paid out so far, it has little to no baring on the people who are still waiting or the hundreds of thousands of people you denied outright. The $3.5 billion dollars paid out by the GCCF is even less of an excuse to continue your shoddy operations without change as the $20 billion dollar escrow account serves to exonerate British Petroleum of their full responsibility.
But again, Ken, just in case you still don’t quite get it…
The amount you’ve paid out does not function as an explanation for the failings of the GCCF. The amount you’ve paid out doesn’t function as any sort of cover for the continued desperation of the people you were hired to serve. The only thing I see it could possibly cover or touch on is the conscience of a New York lawyer who is desperately trying to sleep at night.
So good luck with that, and If you can’t…good. You really don’t deserve any sort of rest, and if you can?
Good lord, you’re even worse than I thought.
Oh, and PS…
Don’t think for a moment that those of us following this story also haven’t noticed how you keep downplaying the environmental damage in the Gulf.
When interim payments are the only type of payment one can receive without waiving the right to sue, and you state people will have to keep proving damages every three months while also suggesting that the longer they wait to file for a final payment, and the more the Gulf improves, the lower their final payment could be…it sure seems you are trying to push people away from filing interim claims and into the payment types where they must waive said right to sue.
You don’t come off as neutral, more like…an asshole.
Have a nice day.