Recently, Gulf Coast Claims Facility Claims Administrator Kenneth Feinberg froze payments following a court order from Dec. 28. The Court in the multi-district oil spill proceedings in New Orleans issued an order that established a “reserve” account at the request of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee. The court ordered that an amount equivalent to six percent of any payments made on or after Nov. 7 be withheld from those who settle directly with Gulf Coast Claims Facility. Jan. 3, Feinberg froze all claim payments and determinations until the Court’s order is clarified.
Attorney General Pam Bondi issued the following statement about the Feinberg’s decision:
“Individuals who suffered financial losses due to the oil spill deserve to receive fair compensation as quickly as possible, and Mr. Feinberg’s recent decision to freeze payments is an overreaction that prolongs long-awaited financial relief to those who need it. I encourage Mr. Feinberg to resume making payments and issuing determination letters. If he deems it necessary because of the Court’s order, he can set aside six percent of those payments until the Court clarifies its position. Under no circumstances should he further delay the claims process.”
“The entire purpose of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 claims process is to allow claimants an opportunity to have their oil spill claims paid without litigation. There is no nexus between any work that may have been done by the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the federal court litigation and the Gulf Coast Claims Facility recoveries obtained by individual or business claimants. Accordingly, the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee should not be allowed to extract a substantial portion of those non-litigation recoveries for its own benefit.”
For more information on Bondi’s response click here: