GCCF report shows few have accepted final claims

Alejandro de los Rios Mar. 2, 2011, 12:39pm


Program statistics for the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) show that less than 10 percent of individuals and businesses offered a final payment have accepted, leaving close to a total of $70 million on the table.

The statistics came in a March 1 report issued by the GCCF on its overall progress. GCCF administrator Ken Feinberg has come under heavy scrutiny about how he's been handling claims related to the BP oil spill.

The report states that of the 9,230 final offers made to claimants, only 700 have been accepted.

The question about whether the GCCF requirement that people waive their right to sue BP and other responsible parties in exchange for a final payment is up for debate in federal court.

State attorneys general and plaintiff lawyers have argued that the waiver requirement is a violation of the Oil Pollution Act (OPA). Attorneys for Feinberg recently submitted a memo claiming the GCCF exceeds OPA requirements.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier, who is overseeing the multidistrict litigation surrounding the BP oil spill, said at a status conference last week that he will rule on the GCCF's OPA compliance after considering arguments from all parties.

Recently, Barbier issued a ruling that stated Feinberg is an agent of BP and that the GCCF forms should reflect that ruling.

Federal MDL 2:10-md-2179

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