Journalism in the Public Interest

Gulf Compensation Czar Says Claims Will No Longer Face Geographic Test

A decision by Kenneth Feinberg, the Gulf compensation czar, to no longer consider proximity to the spill in claims eligibility is particularly beneficial to hotels and restaurants in southern Florida that claimed a decline in tourism, though oil never arrived on their beaches

Kenneth Feinberg, the independent paymaster who is managing the BP claims process, said on Monday that he would no longer consider proximity to the oil spill in determining whether a claim is eligible for payment.

"I have concluded that a geographic test to determine eligibility regarding economic harm due to the oil spill is unwarranted,” Feinberg said in a statement.

Feinberg's decision came after discussions with top Florida politicians who urged him to revise his criteria for payments. Feinberg said that he settled on the latest changes after hearing from "elected officials in Florida, including Gov. Crist, Attorney General McCollum, CFO Sink and others, about their concerns regarding Floridians' proximity to the spill and how, regardless of distance, there has been economic impact beyond the areas closest to the spill."

The decision is particularly beneficial to hotels and restaurants in southern Florida that claimed losses due a decline in tourism although oil had not washed up on their beaches. Some elected officials have interpreted Feinberg’s announcement as an acknowledgement that perceptions resulting from the spill are a legitimate source of damages, a policy that would open the door to wide variety of new claims.

"Even in areas that never saw a single tar ball, businesses were hurt by the perception of oil on Florida's beaches, seafood and coastal waters," Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida said in a statement.

Feinberg stopped short of endorsing this standard, but said that if a claimant can prove that losses were caused by the spill, then "physical proximity from the spill will not, in and of itself, bar the processing of legitimate claims."

good news!!!

good news yes… but those of us that have been waiting for payment since August 23rd will now go back to to the bottom of the line.

So,,,,,,,,,,  are the people who live in the interior states the only ones that do NOT claim??  This is a free for all.  I guess the only saving grace here is that no new claims can be made.

Just like Katrina and other issues that affect Louisiana, the people of LA are the last or hardest to get payments, as all the others who are slick get their payments first.

If BP went to the parish and gave out checks fast and on the spot, there would not be time for all the people in other states who do not have oil on their land for almost forever, to get a hold on the process.

So, is all of Louisiana already paid and that is why the changes??  Maybe it is only the economic abundance of Florida just became better.  Remember, Florida got hit by housing and bank issues, did Feinberg adjust his giving for those that did not have the issues to claim.  Hope they did not submit their 2009 or 2008 taxes for basis of loss.

I think a lot of businesses have been indirectly affected by the spill, but more importantly by the lack of a timely response by His Majesty, King Obama.  Bush is criticized (I’m no Bush fan either) for not doing more for New Orleans sooner, but Obama waited, what EIGHT days before even acknowledging or addressing it?!?  If he gave a rat’s a** bout those small businesses, he’d have been more responsive and acted more like a leader vs. trying to make a political gain of it with environmental liberal wacko’s.  Everything that fraud does is for his political gain.  Can’t wait until the DemocRAT’s are massacred (politically, of course) on Nov. 2nd!!!

p.s.  Isn’t the timing of this coincidental?!?  Months after all this happened, and just a month before the election they all decide to do this?  How charitable of them—I’m sure it’s because they care and not because they want political points and to be voted for on Nov. 2nd…

Brian J. Donovan

Oct. 6, 2010, 9:30 a.m.

“I have concluded that a geographic test to determine eligibility regarding economic harm due to the oil spill is unwarranted,” Feinberg said in a statement.

GCCF employs the traditional “delay, deny, defend” strategy used by insurance companies.
The “geographic test” was a part of this strategy.

BP oil spill victims must know their legal rights. Here are two examples:

(a) The GCCF Protocol states, “The GCCF will only pay for harm or damage that is proximately caused by the Spill. The GCCF will take into account, among other things, geographic proximity, nature of industry, and dependence upon injured natural resources.” GCCF’s requirement that a claimant has the increased burden of proving “proximate causation” between his or her damages and the Deepwater Horizon incident is a clear violation of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA). Furthermore, paying for damages based on geographic proximity and nature of industry is also a clear violation of OPA. OPA is a strict liability statute. In order to recover damages, a claimant merely needs to show that his or her damages “resulted from” the oil spill; and

(b) In the event that a claim for damages is not paid by the responsible party (BP) within 90 days, the BP oil spill victim may elect to present the claim to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund or to commence an action in court against BP.

BP oil spill victims must be proactive. Merely reacting to GCCF is playing into BP’s strategy. BP oil spill victims must be prepared to act on “Day 91.”

Here are three issues a reporter should investigate:
(a) how GCCF limits BP’s liability via the systematic postponement, reduction or denial of claims against BP;

(b) how GCCF guarantees BP’s continued long-term operation in the offshore Gulf of Mexico E&P sector; and

(c) why GCCF is not necessary to ensure that victims of the BP oil spill are fully compensated for incurred damages.


day 45 and still under review

TODAY October 11. The telephones at the GCCF are not working!!!!We keep getting a message that it is not a good number….Called BP folks and they called and got the SAME message…..What are we to do now????????

Indeed, First I got leave a message and then called back and say ” we are unable to connect you” please call back!” What horrible, horrible, service and this man was appointed?? Time to flood the White House with calls everyone!

Phones are working now and the web page has updated as of 10/11/2010 at 5:05pm…I was told today that I was being mailed out a defency letter, when I asked the rep to read the letter to me so that I can gather the require documents, she stated that it has not been scanned to my file yet…but keep in mind it has been mailed…BS

Kris..when did you file?

I field Oct 1… phones at gccf not working again….

they shut down the other story

Monday will be nine weeks and I am still “under review”

i hear ya sam i still there too

I’ve been waiting since Aug 23, also.

hey terri , they stop the other story, everyone is posting on one of the storys,i hear ya me too , they ask for more info and they had it already in the file so i not sure is to why the stalling, maybe untill the end of the month , christine was denied her claim, we need to keep intouch with each other me and terri exchanged emails so we can stay intouch if they shut down again on us

Hmmm, been waiting since 8/25/2010 and sent in 38 pages of documentation, still sitting “under review” then looked at statistics and said “wait for more documentation!” I called and asked what documentation I have sent in my life story. I received NOTHING in the mail to request anything else! Then she said, oh you need to send in any earnings you have had in 2010, WTF@!! When did this come about??

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