“I am constantly pressured to do the right thing,” Feinberg said. “You know, the shrimpers, the crabbers, the oystermen and the GCCF, they all say we need to do more, and that they are still at risk. On the other hand, I get correspondence from BP, saying you should not give two times, or four times. In fact they say that two times is too much, the Gulf has recovered. So I get pressure from both every side. I do what I think is right.”
It’s gotta be hard to be Ken Feinberg, living in the middle like that…the fishermen saying he hasn’t done enough, the evil oil corporation who says he has done too much…so very difficult…I almost feel bad, like I should invite him down to Flanagans on St. Phillips, do my social work thing, listen, empathize…and then of course, dump my beer all over his head, kick him off the bar stool and then, standing over him, remind him how he has turned this whole “neutral arbitrator” schtick into a multimillion dollar business…the agent orange fund, the 9-11 fund…etc…and while he is going on and on about how hard it is to wear his shoes, I’d remind him how he put them on, and how they’re some of the most expensive shoes money can buy, and how the people his decisions affect have lost quite a bit more than a few hours sleep so sorry, tell it walking, tell it to the MSM who oftentimes feel content to give him a pass because he is at least paying something unlike the Road Home Program…
Yeah, a celebration of mediocrity…perfect.
Oh, and Ken would just like to add:
Feinberg emphasized that anyone who so wishes, can still seek interim payments from the Gulf Coast Claims facility, and not accept any final payment.
Hey, I thought this whole oil spill deal was all kinda, you know…over.
At least that’s the impression I got watching all them there sparkly British Petroleum commercials, but man, over the past two days, the news has been flying pretty serious again in the Gulf, and between you, me, the courts and the water…I think this has just begun…Maybe I just got distracted by the hockey playoffs…
What? What do you want? I never said I wasn’t from the north…
Archbishop Gregory Aymond got on bended knees and put his arms around two women, listened to the damage BP and the GCCF have wrought and did his best to console them. The women had come to Catholic Charities in Violet for counseling and help with their spill damage claims.
Turns out one of the women, Lois Neville of Violet is yet another one of those people who Ken Feinberg, BP paid administrator of the GCCF and $20 billion escrow fund is saying…well, golly gosh gee, must have slipped through the cracks…hey, mistakes get made, do you know how many claims we’ve received, we’re working as fast as we can…etc…ad nauseum.
Funny thing though, BP was helping her financially, but all payments stopped when Feinberg took over…and she filed for her final settlement, and well past the 90 day time limit Feinberg gave himself to present final offers, she is still waiting…
In her words from David Hammer’s article in the Times-Picayune:
“I’m barely making ends meet with my savings and rental income, and I’m depressed, I’m stressed out,” Neville said. “I get very angry. I hate to even watch the news because there are other people in a worse predicament than me.”
Depressed and stressed out…like thousands of others, yet BP has closed the coffers on funding for mental health in the Gulf Coast…maybe when they said, making things right…they meant everything but the mind.
And hey, why might Ms. Neville still be waiting for her final claim?
It’s been a year since the oil spilled.
Well, on the GCCF front…Feinberg will tell any reporter who listens how he has paid out $3.9 billion dollars of that escrow fund…and apparently, he is quite proud of this fact…lord knows why…after all that means…he hasn’t paid out $16 billion dollars…and of that 3.9, it’s mostly quick payments…very few final offers, and even fewer interim payments…so what gives? Oh…right, right: mistakes get made, do you know how many claims we’ve received and we’re working as fast as we can…got it. Um, bullshit? Not to mention, how convenient was it for Feinberg, the day before the anniversary, the day before the press was to descend all over the Gulf Coast, to suddenly issue the largest final offer to date to Omega Protein Corp, $44.8 million dollars total. I’m sure the timing of this was coincidental, of course…Feinberg couldn’t possibly be such a cynical asshole to present this offer as some sort of distraction to the press, you know, so the coverage might be a bit more balanced as the press goes out to find the countless Lois Neville’s across the Gulf Coast, the ones seeking counseling because they are struggling not to lose everything, again, a year later…
And speaking of unhappy people in the Gulf…well, let the lawsuits begin, and rightfully so…
70,000 people have filed suit in the Gulf in a maritime law proceeding brought by rig owner Transocean, using a form that also expanded the suit to include British Petroleum. This would be on top of the 350 other suits, representing multiple parties already filed. No word on how many of these people are of the 400,000 that Feinberg and the GCCF have not paid yet, or plan not to pay, but Stephen Herman, co-lead attorney for the plaintiffs said, “I think it certainly validates the litigation effort. I also think that it confirms the sentiment out there that Feinberg and the GCCF haven’t really done a great job of giving people what they thought they were entitled to.”
Not to be outdone, British Petroleum filed a suit of their own, going after Cameron International, the company that made the blowout preventer that wouldn’t close. BP would like a court to rule against the company, declaring the device caused or contributed to the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon. Such a ruling would help BP fight against a designation of being “grossly negligent” which if so designated would dramatically raise the amount of fines British Petroleum will have to pay under the Oil Pollution Act.
Perhaps Feinberg knows a judge, to help out his boss, maybe call in some favors perhaps? It’s been a while since he got a raise, and remember the reason the GCCF keeps screwing people? Right, it’s because they’re overworked…not because the GCCF is trying to coerce people into claims attached to a clause where they sign away their rights to sue BP, and not because Feinberg is trying to save BP money, and certainly not because Feinberg is just trying to keep people out of court…cause, that worked out real well…(see above).
Okay…well, at least…all the oil is gone. And that’s important because according to Feinberg’s methodology, all that oil has to be outta there by 2013. If not, if the Gulf isn’t back to normal by then, the entire pay-scale he is using to determine damages for claimants will be off, and not in the claimants favor…so, hey…at least BP and the Coast Guard, they got that one right…oh, what?
“Mike Robichaux is a local doctor who has seen up to 60 patients in recent weeks with a mysterious sickness that some attribute to BP’s oil spill. Dr. Robichaux has been making house calls because many of the “stoic” workers don’t want others to know that they are sick. Yet, Dr. Robichaux tells the AFP, “Ninety percent of them are getting worse… Nobody has a clue as to what it is.”
Reuters reports that the U.S. National Institutes of Health has launched a ten-year study on the health of 55,000 oil spill clean-up workers and volunteers. Perhaps it will take ten years to get an answer for Dr. Robichaux.
Not everyone blames the oil spill for the health problems plaguing Gulf cleanup workers. Namely, BP does not blame the BP oil spill for the health problems plaguing Gulf cleanup workers. In a BP comment to the AFP, the company wrote, “Illness and injury reports were tracked and documented during the response, and the medical data indicate they did not differ appreciably from what would be expected among a workforce of this size under normal circumstances.”
As for compensating sick workers, this would fall under state law and “must be supported by acceptable medical evidence.” Are the 415 Louisianans suffering from respiratory tract infections, nausea, and headaches evidence enough?”
Oh, and as mentioned before…it ain’t just the physical body having problems…a study funded by the National Science Foundation has found that mental health difficulties are likely to linger on the Gulf Coast for the following decade. According to the study, two factors that could cause stresses to persist are delays in compensation for spill damages by the claims process, and possible slow recovery of fishing resources and the fishing industry.
Feinberg, Dudley…your ears burning?
Okay…my bad on all this everybody…I promise to stop watching so much hockey. It really would appear this thing is far from over…that few are doing well in the Gulf at all
In fact…it would appear the only people really doing well these days are British Petroleum…once again paying stock dividends and issuing bonuses to the elite within its company, and Ken Feinberg,who’s sitting on a helluva nice raise from his British Petroleum puppet masters. Yeah, Ken may be taking a lot of criticism these days, but from everything I read, it doesn’t appear to be affecting his psyche at all, in fact he refers to himself as “Bloodied, but unbowed.” And that’s a good thing too, because whereas some of you lightweights out there might want your guy in charge of helping hundreds of thousands of people recover from this catastraphuk to brag about such things as fairness, compassion, generosity and empathy….I like my arbitrator of a compensation fund to talk like he’s trying out for the WWE, you know, to be a bad-ass who don’t take no crap from some fishing type guys and business people who’ve never been to New York.
Nope…not going well at all:
Cleanup workers are getting sick, depression is running rampant and suicides are up across the Gulf Coast. There’s still oil out there while BP continues to scale back cleanup. BP is reneging on financial promises to help with the oyster beds while helping their stockbrokers and executives to more money. The health of the Gulf continues to be debated. Dolphins are dying. Fish have sores. There are dead zones on the Gulf seafloor. Allegations exist that BP is trying to taint the science by influencing the research. A year after the Deepwater Horizon blew up, no laws have been passed by Congress to help ensure it doesn’t happen again while experts maintain it very well could happen again. The NOAA, EPA and FDA all claim the seafood from the Gulf is safe to eat, and they finally opened the last fishing area but the country isn’t buying it: what the government says, or the seafood – which leaves the industry far from recovered. Too many people are waiting for Feinberg to do his fucking job…homes are being lost, jobs haven’t come back and businesses continue to go bankrupt.
And the President?
Well, he said some words and stuff, but ah…who cares, or believes that guy anymore…
Just wanted to send a quick note of congratulations to G, and her husband. They got in touch with me sometime ago about their claims, expressing their frustrations with investigations by the GCCF, disgust with the length of time it was taking…79 days to get a quick payment? And an overall disappointment with BP and Feinberg for the damages, the stalling, the runaround and the lies.
Well, they got paid today, so I just wanted to say congratulations to them and a continuing best of luck to everybody who’s still waiting. Like G. and her husband, may all eventually have the good fortune to finally be done with the GCCF and their miserly ways…
On Thursday morning, Ken Feinberg brought adjusters from his Gulf Coast Claims Facility in Washington DC down to Gulfport, Alabama to meet one on one with a group of business owners and discuss their claims in person. When the meetings were over, Feinberg said “Alabama’s been a sore point, this area has been an area where there’s been a good deal of constructive criticism leveled at the GCCF.”
No, Ken, not just in Alabama.
These complaints are also blasting away in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida.
What appears to have made the difference in Alabama is, believe it or not, the politicians. This four-hour meeting in Gulfport came at the urging of Alabama’s senators, Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions. It is also probable the cause was helped by the writings of the Alabama Press Register, and the Governor, Bob Riley’s evisceration of the claims process as “extortion.”
So where are Jindal, Landrieu and Vitter in Louisiana? Where are Crist, LeMieux and Nelson in Florida? Where are Barbour, Cochran and Wicker in Mississippi? Where are Perry, Cornyn and Hutchison in Texas?
Most importantly, why the hell is it even necessary that all this pressure must be exerted to get face time with Feinberg in the first place? Isn’t this his job, to be equitable and fair, to ensure that everyone gets what they deserve?
Feinberg said he was giving special attention to Alabama business owners because of the high concentration of unhappy claimants there.
Just in Alabama? Is he even paying attention?
As Chris Nelson, a vice president at Bon Secour Fisheries who was present for the meeting put it, “I’ve yet to bump into anyone in the seafood industry, whether they’re from Texas or Florida, that seems satisfied with the program, either he’s not hearing from these guys, or he’s misinterpreting what they’re saying.”
Perhaps Bobby Jindal for one, should stop spending so much time on the (non)campaign trail, and along with fixing the Louisiana budget start making some noise in favor of its businesses and people.
Apparently, politicians are the only ones who can get Feinberg’s attention.