Promises, promises, promises…
A couple of days ago I wrote a bit about how Ken Feinberg’s credibility is a thing of the past.
In fact, his credibility began eroding just a few weeks into his tenure as the
neutral arbitrator of British Petroleum’s compensation fund when his initial promises of EAP claims being paid for individuals within 48 hours and business inside of a week quickly fell through. Then the destruction became complete just a couple of weeks back when Judge Carl Barbier of the US District Court ruled that Feinberg was not neutral and not independent of British Petroleum and must stop referring to himself as such.
So it would only seem fair that when Mr. Feinberg, in a conference call to Alabama elected officials, promised that his GCCF will process at least 25% of all pending claims by March 31st, one might be skeptical of his pledge.
Indicating such feeling, both Alabama Governor, Robert Bentley and Attorney General Luther Strange said they would hold Feinberg to his word.
And Gulf Shores Councilman Jason Dyken also expressed the obvious about Feinberg’s promises, “He’s been saying that for six months.” Dyken went on to say, “And I’m not very optimistic. I understand the complexity of their task, and I understand the magnitude of their task. But then again, it’s not rocket science.”
As I’ve written before, growing popular opinion is that Feinberg is stalling payments in an attempt to get claimants to accept smaller offers out of desperation and it’s a strategy that appears to be working if the few numbers anyone is able to pry out of the GCCF are any indication: of 573 final offers made, about 129 claimants accepted an average payment of a little more than $11,000.
To cover any damages from the spill, lost wages, lost culture, physical and mental health problems and a still uncertain future. I personally work in one of the lowest paid professions out there and $11,000 dollars wouldn’t reimburse me for five months, let alone eleven months so far since British Petroleum screwed up the entire Gulf.
But, I suppose it could always be worse.
Hundreds of thousands of claimants were completely shut out of this process for reasons Feinberg’s lack of transparency fails to reveal, and in my opinion, their settlements were worth precisely the amount of both Feinberg’s credibility and sense of integrity…
Have a nice day.