“The idea that there’s some sort of conspiracy to force people to take the Quick Payment is totally false… mounting a soap box and making that argument is no substitute for taking a close look at the statistics, reviewing the claims and seeing what is going on here.”
So says Ken Feinberg in response to Mississippi Attorney General Hood’s district court filing where Hood requested the court appoint officials to oversee the claims process, in effect asking for an audit of the GCCF. Now, correct me if I’m wrong here, but it would appear taking a close look at the statistics, and reviewing claims to see what is going on with the claims process is precisely what Jim Hood wants to do.
The problem, it seems, is Hood wants to look at the entire claims process, not just the parts Feinberg is willing to show, or as Hood states, “It just seemed kind of surreal and defensive to me. It seems like they are nervous the judge is going open the books on this process…transparency is what we want.”
Feinberg also writes that Hood’s assertion the GCCF is forcing people into quick payments by way of intentionally stalling claims until people are financially desperate is an “unsupported and damaging assertion.”
I disagree, due to just a few simple facts:
1. This oil spill and its aftermath have been going on just a few days short of a year.
2. Some people have been out of work, or making a minute fraction of what they did pre-spill for a year.
An entire year, Ken.
3. At this point, again, a year later, the GCCF has paid 98% of quick pay claims, $5,000 dollars to individuals and $25,000 dollars to businesses, all of which require people to sign away their rights to sue BP for future damages and at the same time, the GCCF has paid only 3% of interim claims, payments which allow people to keep filing for damages, and thus not waive their rights to sue…this of course can give the appearance claimants, if they need their money bad enough, are being steered to certain choices, and these choices benefit British Petroleum.
4. When claimants do receive a final claims offer, the acceptance of which also requires the claimant to sign a waiver not to sue, these offers appear to be of low monetary amounts.
5. When Ken gets all petulant in the press, stating there is no proof his final claim offers are too low, he often intimates his critics haven’t seen the claims which might prove the GCCF offers to be reasonable, but at the same time, he continually refuses an audit of the claims, something which might clearly show if he is telling the truth, or lying. This lack of transparency, once again, requires the public and local officials to take him at his word…
6. Ken Feinberg’s days of being taken at his word ended a long, long time ago…right about the time Judge Barbier ruled he was not a neutral arbitrator, and further bolstered by his law firm’s recent raise from $850,000 to $1.25 million dollars a month, all paid by British Petroleum.
Again, this has been going on for a year…
It should also be noted that in the court filing that contained Feinberg’s response, it is argued that Barbier’s court has no jurisdiction over the GCCF, claiming the GCCF is “working effectively” and any court intervention would “chill the ability of GCCF personnel to work expeditiously without fear of running afoul of an independent auditor.”
This may very well be true, so long as one considers that British Petroleum is the one the GCCF is “working effectively” for, and when it comes to a fear of an auditor, they mean, an auditor besides BP.
As Jim Hood said in response to Ken’s most recent legal tantrum: “At some point, I’m going to put his tail in a chair and make him raise his right hand in a deposition and get to the bottom of whether him and BP conspired to force people into the Quick Pay process…”
“Transparency is what we want.”
Yes, yes it is…
Transparency is what Ken has promised over and over again…
And these promises have held up about as well as his promises to do right by the residents of the Gulf Coast.
Read the article:
Have a nice day