BP Claims Deadline

Time is running out for people trying to get money from BP for damage caused by the company’s oil spill. Ken Fienberg, the man in charge of paying claims, was in Tallahassee Thursday to discuss a log jam of claims and warn people of the looming November 23rd deadline. After the deadline people will be asked to accept a lump sum payment and wave their right to sue or prepare for a court battle.

Under fire for a backlog of claims, Ken Feinberg, the man in charge of a 20 billion dollar BP fund, says he expects criticism. “I have a thick skin and a backbone.”

For the next three hours members of Florida Oil Spill task force peppered the claims czar with questions and critiques. Bill Stewart of the Attorney General’s commented, “For every one customer who is happy you have two that are unhappy.”

Bob Zales, a Panama City Charter Boat Captain had more criticism. “When people weren’t going to have records you said get a captain’s letter or even go to a priest. Apparently that’s not working.”

300 thousand claims have been filed. Two in three haven’t been paid. Feinberg says many of them lack documentation. “This is a real problem no way to know how much they made.”

Feinberg says a flood of claims flowing in since October 1st has bogged down the system. He questions the validity of some of the new claims as the deadline to file approaches.

Floridians have until November 23rd to file an emergency claim. After that claimants will be asked to accept a lump sum payment and agree not to sue BP. Claimants will have three years to make up their minds, but experts say the effects of the oil spill on the fishing industry may not be realized for decades.

Feinberg says it’s a decision every fisherman will have to examine closely. “I’ll do the best I can in calculating long term damage and leave it up to each claimant to decide whether or not to take that check.”

But lump sum payments are the furthest thing from some people’s minds, because some Floridians who suffered financial damage still haven’t received a dime from BP.

To help with the backlog of claims, Feinberg plans to hire Floridians to handle Florida cases, put more information on the internet, and give claimants a case manager so they don’t have to deal with a different person every time they call.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Oil Field Worker Location: Bayou Lafourche on Jan 11, 2011 at 07:33 AM
    I am from Bayou Lafourche and work in the oilfield. I been knowing everyone on the Bayou since I was a kid and I did the same work and more that all these people did. Trawling was a way of life down here but has been dieing out for a few years now. We do have very few hard core trawlers that are ligit but no more than a couple dozen on Bayou Lafourche. I went out and did something with my life and got away from living on the land. What makes me sick is all these people that never in their life made this kind of money and they are collecting big time from BP. I am sick to my gut when we have a little tragedy and people down here are looking for the free money. Just look around and see all these people buying vehicles, boats, houses, campers, and toys that they never would be able to afford in the past. I know for a fact that these people are doing these free claims and was never planning on trawling until they found out they can get something FREE out of it. BP needs let me scan aps.
  • by Big D Location: Panama City Beach on Nov 5, 2010 at 01:22 AM
    I filed Oct 4th and they keep telling me they have yet to scan my documents. When there are Illegals that work here that I know for a fact got their checks within 4 days. How is this possible?
  • by Girl on Oct 29, 2010 at 06:51 AM
    You are so right!! Don't send an email either you just get an automated email saying they might answer your question.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 28, 2010 at 06:43 PM
    everytime u call u get a dam answering machine and they dont call u back!
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