Reviewing a claim is not paying a claim…
A quick perusal of the GCCF’s current statistics on the claims process shows two very important things…
1. Quick payments are getting paid, unless a person find themself suddenly under investigation by Guidepost Solutions.
2. Still not getting paid are final payments and really not getting paid are interim payments.
Making the news of late is the GCCF claims offices that are closing down throughout the Gulf Coast, eight of them to be exact, yet still people wait. In an editorial a few weeks ago, Feinberg spoke of how almost all of the claims had been reviewed and yes, this is important, but more important is why are these reviewed claims not moving forward? Some claimants, especially concerning final payments are deciding whether to accept the offers made, but this is not the case when it comes to interim payments…or maybe it is. Hard to know for sure as Feinberg continues to not address the issue of transparency when it comes to this process.
A few samples from the GCCF’s numbers:
Concerning final claims:
96,000 claims have been reviewed. 46,000 offers have been made. 28,000 offers have been accepted.
Concerning interim payments:
63,000 of 78,000 claims have been reviewed. 11,000 claims have been accepted.
And of course, the quick payments:
114,000 of 118,000 have been reviewed while 113,000 have been paid.
The numbers continue to be slanted heavy towards the quick payment option which is the option that works out best for British Petroleum: the claims are inexpensive to pay and require the claimant to sign away their rights to sue for any future damages.
Interim payments continue to sit on the back burner which if you’re BP makes perfect sense, this claim doesn’t require anyone to sign away anything.
And as far as the final payments, while it is impossible to know generally how satisfied people are with their claims offer, we can take a look at one person in particular, one claimant so disgusted by the GCCF and Ken Feinberg that she wrote a letter to Ken and President Obama with some very pointed observations:
“After hundreds of phone calls and emails, I have been offered 5k as a final payment. This is unacceptable, ridiculous and a violation to your own policy that is outlined on the GCCF website. I have provided all documentation to support my loss of income and you have been ordered by the court to pay for all damages and losses due to the oil spill by the oil rig “Deepwater Horizon”, in the gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, MDL #2179.
I will have my claim reviewed again and again and again. I will not go away, give up or give in to your outrageous conclusions.
You will use the documents I provided, you will use the methodology that is outlined on your website and I will be compensated for all of my income losses. I am determined to fight for my rights and not have a multi-billion dollar company or law firm take advantage of me in any way.”
Another satisfied customer.
Another person forgotten by the process, whose final payment offer is the same as a quick pay settlement despite any documentation she may have provided. Now, perhaps Ken’s offer was fair…perhaps. Hard to say when the transparency is lacking, and even harder to say if Barack Obama will pay attention to the people of the Gulf Coast, finally.
Have a nice day.