Feinberg to visit Gulf Coast amidst complaints about oil spill claims

Alejandro de los Rios Jan. 10, 2011, 12:00pm


Kenneth Feinberg, the administrator of a $20 billion claims fund established by BP after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, said that he will be in Mississippi and Louisiana this week to meet with claimants who say their payments are arriving too slowly.

Feinberg scheduled five town-hall style meetings in Mississippi and Louisiana for today and tomorrow. The first two meetings were held in Mississippi this morning, while the third was to be held in Grand Isle this afternoon.

Two more Louisiana meetings, one in Lafitte and the other in Houma, are scheduled for Tuesday.

The meetings come amidst complaints that the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) has been slow to respond to the hundreds of thousands of claims made as a result of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent oil spill.

In December, plaintiff lawyers in the oil spill multidistrict litigation (MDL) filed a motion claiming that Feinberg is working as an agent for BP, claiming he is "indistinguishable form a defense attorney attempting to settle cases on behalf of BP."

Last week, the Associate Press reported that Feinberg announced he hired a legal ethics professor to clarify that he is not working for BP in his administration of the GCCF. The report stated that New York University law professor Stephen Giller was tasked with writing a letter clarifying Feinberg's stance as a neutral party.

Feinberg's law firm is being paid $850,000 a month by BP to run the GCCF. As of Jan. 8, the GCCF has paid out just more than $2.9 billion.

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