BP claims processing by the Gulf Coast Claim Facility is now in its fourth week, and by now it’s clear the performance doesn’t match some of the promises BP Claims Czar Kenneth Feinberg made in July and August. With the oil well capped, I’ve launched a new site covering BP claims processing and oil spill litigation at BP-Claims-Report.com.
One thing I hope will draw interest is the BP Claims Report Card, which lets BP claimants grade the performance of Kenneth Feinberg and the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. It’s not a scientific survey, but it should provide some interesting insights into the operations of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility.
We’ve also got several videos of Kenneth Feinberg making promises about how he would handle BP claims.Â Here are some quotes from the videos of Kenneth Feinberg:
- â€œI will keep the people that are already working on this program. I will add additional people. But the additional people I add must come from the region. They have to be local people that are trusted, that know their neighbors, that understand better than I ever could exactly what the needs and wants are of the people in this locale.â€
- â€œI have to make sure that the people on the ground that are evaluating the claims are local, diverse, understand and are sensitive to those needs. I pledge I will do that.â€
- â€œKudos and praise to Darrel, to BP for what theyâ€™ve done so far. There is absolutely no sense at all, driving BP into bankruptcy. That would be a disaster, a disaster.â€
Although the video shows Mr. Feinberg pledging to hire local people to help pay claims, the news this week reveals that local people were not hired.Â ProPublica reported this week:
“Feinberg told us that he has kept the roughly 1,500 adjusters working in the Gulf from theÂ Worley company (which was initially contracted by BP), but that he had added a final stop that claims must pass through before approval. â€œThe last stop on the claims process is in Washington, D.C.,â€ Feinberg said. â€œAll claims must go through this hub to ensure consistency. There are 25 employees in my office reviewing and finalizing claims.â€
“Feinberg said that adding more employees in the Washington would result in less consistency in payments, and that he was not considering hiring more there. If anything, Feinberg said that he would decrease the number of adjusters he has working in the Gulf as the volume of claims eases. â€œIâ€™m comfortable with the staffing situation,â€ Feinberg said. â€œIâ€™ve concluded that you reach a point of diminishing returns. Iâ€™m trying to improve efficiency.â€
Take a look at BP-Claims-Report.com if you have time. Comments are open on several pages.