Today it was revealed that the pro bono lawyers Ken Feinberg and the GCCF are giving to victims of the Gulf Oil Spill are actually lawyers that represent BP. This is a shocking revelation about the GCCF and Ken Feinberg’s true motivations.
When Ken Feinberg was first appointed to be in charge of the GCCF I thought it was a great choice. He had a track record for being fair with those injured in the 911 terrorist attacks and I had high hopes that he would be a fair administrator of the GCCF, and that he would give those most significantly impacted–fishermen, oystermen and small businesses located in the Gulf of Mexico, a fair shake. Unfortunately, he has been a complete disappointment.
The problem is that he is not independent. BP is paying him at least $850,000 per month to administer the fund. The claims process is indeed complicated and those making any kind of significant claim would be well advised to get a lawyer who does not have any ties to Ken Feinberg, the GCCF, BP or the other Defendants. Another significant concern is that for those making a Final Payment Claim, a full release of economic damage claims must be signed. The problem is that the long term consequences of the Gulf Oil Spill are still unknown.
Another concern is that in order to proceed with a court case under the Oil Pollution Act, the claim must be properly “presented” aka (Presentment) to BP which is the responsible party under OPA. Many unrepresented individuals will present a claim to GCCF, but they may not meet the “presentment” requirements under OPA.
Therefore, a private lawyer can be helpful in this regard. The claims process with GCCF is so convoluted at this point that I think that most people with any sort of significant claim due to the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill should get a lawyer. There were first Emergency Payment Claims, now Interim Payment Claims and Final Payment Claims. There are also quick pay options but only for those who already received an Emergency Payment claim. The documentation requirements for all of these claims is different. Our lawyers can help navigate this process.
Unfortunately a large portion of the scientific community investigating the spill has been tied up with conflicts of interest and confidentiality clauses with BP. In fact, the same law firm that Mr. Feinberg appointed to provide claimants with pro bono representation advised BP on how to word their contracts with their scientists. Our law firm represents individuals and businesses who have suffered losses as a result of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Our Gulf oil spill attorneys will fight hard for you and your business and make sure that your claim is properly presented to the GCCF and that your damages are fully accounted for.