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Please see our BP settlement websites and BP Settlement Facebook page for more information on filing BP claims.

BP-Settlement-News.comLaunched in 2013 to provide topical BP Settlement news about BP’s 2013 court filings and efforts to avoid paying BP claims which are due to be paid under the BP Settlement.

BP-Settlement-Help.org - New website with attorney videos explaining the BP Settlement process and offering a free BP claims evaluation form so that you can contact attorneys handling BP Settlement claims to get a free evaluation of your potential to collect a BP Settlement check.

BPOilnews.com – operated continuously by attorney Michael J. Evans. Launched the week after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Now covering BP’s efforts to avoid it’s obligations under the BP Settlement, and the legal and public relations that British Petroleum is mounting against challenges to paying legitimate BP Settlement claims

BP-Claims-Report.com – 2 year-old website documenting the falsehoods told by Kenneth Feinberg and the total failure of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility to process BP claims and pay BP checks to local Gulf Coast residents who filed BP claims forms.

BP Settlement Help Facebook Page – Recently launced Facebook Page with videos of attorneys explaining the BP Settlement process, and offering a Free BP Claims Evaluation Form.

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BP settlement approval allows businesses in Southeast to file BP Claims

BP claims may be filed by many more businesses than previously thought

BP claims administered by Kenneth Feinberg through the Gulf Coast Claims Facility were a disappointment to both businesses and individuals located near the Gulf Coast. Although Feinberg jetted all over the Gulf Coast area, most people who filed BP claims found that Feinberg did not deliver on his promise to pay BP claims quickly and fairly.

Fortunately, Feinberg has been replaced by a BP settlement process approved in a BP class action by Judge Carl Barbier in December. To the surprise of many businesses, many more businesses are eligible to file BP claims than many had expected.

BP claims news can be found at BP Oil News and BP Claims Report.

The BP Settlement creates zones in which any business can file a BP claim if the business had a significant decline in general revenues during the time of the BP oil spill in 2010. Because it is widely understood that the oil spill impacted businesses far from the Gulf Coast, the BP settlement sets up zones within which any business of any type is eligible to file a claim. Those zones include the entire states of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and the West Coast of Florida all the way south to Key West.

Thus a North Alabama construction company could file a BP claim if it suffered a significant decrease in gross revenues in 2010 and the saw a rebound of revenues in 2011. The claims process is complicated, and the attorneys who sponsor the YouTube channel and websites listed in this article are working with accountants to help take the burden of the BP claims process off the shoulders of business men and women. This legal assistance is available free of charge, with a fee being paid only if the business collects on its BP claim.

There is also a BPSettlementHelp YouTube channel and a BP settlement Help website that allows people to contact lawyers for a free legal review of their potential BP claims.

All businesses of any type which are located in one of the settlement zones may be able to qualify to file BP claims, and receive payment from the BP settlement. Businesses don’t have to prove that they lost revenues due to the BP oil spill; they simply need to have financial records proving a significant decrease in revenues during 2010, and certain other criteria regarding their revenues in 2011.

Although BP claims for contractors and certain other businesses have been delayed by BP’s efforts to change the process, the Court recently entered an order which should speed up the payment of claims.

Gulf Coast Claims Facility and the Feinberg Pledge

Is Kenneth Feinberg’s credibility as administrator of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility totally shot? If it isn’t, it should be.

I’ve got a post on the BP-Claims-Report.com blog with a video of Feinberg addressing a meeting of Gulf oil spill victims in Larose, Louisiana in June 2010. Feinberg made a lot of promises, but the most appalling thing about the video was his emphatic “pledge” to the people of Larose. You can read the entire post here: BP Claims Czar Kenneth Feinberg – Promises Made to be Broken.

The Feinberg Pledge came after almost 5 minutes of telling desperate people that he was going to tell them exactly how the program would work. He said they deserved to know. Here are some of the things Feinberg said:

  • “A program like this cannot be designed or administered from Washington.”
  • “You guys need certainty. Let me tell you the plan.”
  • “I am not a government official. I am not a BP official.”
  • “I 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’ve got to be people, 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 the locale.”
  • “I 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.

But these things aren’t true. In a September 16, 2010 article, Feinberg admitted he has hired no local employees. The only employees he has hired is 25 people in his Washington, D.C. office. These employees have final approval over all claims, which sounds a whole lot like a program being administered in Washington, D.C. Here’s what the interview with Feinberg revealed:

  • “The last stop on the claims process is in Washington, D.C.,” Feinberg said. “All claims must go through this hub to ensure consistency. There are 25 employees in my office reviewing and finalizing claims.”
  • If anything, Feinberg said that he would decrease the number of adjusters he has working in the Gulf as the volume of claims eases.

One can argue that Feinberg’s broken promises about paying claims within 48 were the result of underestimating the difficulty of the job. (I don’t buy this for reasons I will explain later in another post). But Feinberg didn’t unintentionally break his pledge. It’s sad that his pledge is worthless. It’s even sadder that he seems to have no sense of shame about it.

As someone who posted a hopeful article after the $20 billion fund was created and Feinberg was appointed administrator, I wanted to believe that Feinberg would actually be a blessing to people on the Gulf. But I believe it’s become obvious that’s not going to happen. At this point, I think it’s reasonable for Gulf residents to view Kenneth Feinberg as an adversary.

If you filed a BP claim with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, you can share your experiences and opinions on our BP Claims Report Card and the Kenneth Feinberg Confidence Survey. You can also express your opinions on our BP Claims Help Facebook page.

New BP Claims Site Launched

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. Here are some quotes from the videos of Kenneth Feinberg:

  • “I 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.”
  • “I 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.”
  • “Kudos and praise to Darrel, to BP for what they’ve done so far. There is absolutely no sense at all, driving BP into bankruptcy. That would be a disaster, a disaster.”

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. ProPublica reported this week:

“Feinberg told us that he has kept the roughly 1,500 adjusters working in the Gulf from the Worley company (which was initially contracted by BP), but that he had added a final stop that claims must pass through before approval. “The last stop on the claims process is in Washington, D.C.,” Feinberg said. “All claims must go through this hub to ensure consistency. There are 25 employees in my office reviewing and finalizing claims.”

“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. “I’m comfortable with the staffing situation,” Feinberg said. “I’ve concluded that you reach a point of diminishing returns. I’m trying to improve efficiency.”

Take a look at BP-Claims-Report.com if you have time. Comments are open on several pages.

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