The United States government ordered BPto set aside a $20 billion oil leak fund in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. A mere pittance of those mega billions has been distributed to Gulf coast residents who say their livelihoods have been overturned by the environmental and economic carnage. Shady attorneys are buggering up a process that has come to be criticized by those seeking a jackpot as a cluster rack.
The entire BPoil leak claims to process
It is a year after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico occurred in 2010 while only $3.8 billion BP oil spill claims have been paid by the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. The company set aside $20 billion for the claims, 19 percent of which has been paid. The latest report from Kenneth Feinberg, who was appointed by the Obama administration to disburse the BPoil leak fund, said that 201,261 claims have been paid. There have been over 857,000 claims already. In five states there are 35 offices for the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. The BPoil spill claims will be paid by it until 2013, in August. The claims process has been considered unfair, slow and confusing by several people getting Feinberg lots of criticism.
Showing there really were damages
In a statement issued Tuesday defending his administration of the BPoil leak fund, Feinberg said “Amounts requested by claimants very often bear no reasonable relationship to the damages actually proven,” noting that one applicant tried to claim all $20 billion. About 72 percent of the claims from the BPoil spill have had payments or offers made. There have been claims denied too. Others are pending until more documentation is produced. Fishermen not used to paperwork in deals and typically working in cash are having a difficult time figuring out the BPoil claims process. The Coast Guard has not overturned any of the 574 cases disputing payments.
Money gets attorneys involved
Tens of thousands of Gulf Coast residents — in particular vulnerable populations with language and culture disadvantages for instance the region’s large contingent of Vietnamese fishermen — have been misled into signing up with lawyers or have been unaware that claims have been filed in their name. All of the illegal activity is bothering Feinberg who said it was “an obstacle to the efficiency and speed in getting the checks out.” According to the New York Times, there are some groups targeted more than others. One of these involves the Vietnamese fisherman. The larger the client list, the larger they payout for the lawyers when BPsettles the claim. The New York Times reports of a San Antonio law firm that filed claims for thousands of Vietnamese, all listed as deckhands with identical earnings. The claims were rejected, and several individuals were surprised to discover their names on the list.
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