As we close the second week of Kenneth Feinberg’s new claims process, reviews continue to be mixed, and we have received very reliable reports from confidential sources that the claims offices are in a complete state of disarray.
We have filed 171 documented GCCF claims within 72 hours of the claim facility opening. As of this afternoon we have not received any payments from the GCCF or notification of a pending payment. In fact we have not received any communication from the GCCF. Our only communication with the GCCF has been through calls we have initiated which have not been returned. If they are treating attorneys like this imagine what they are doing to everyone else.
As the national spotlight fades a bit, the regional news coverage has continued to offer intense personal stories from around the region.
A good example this week comes from reporter Anita Lee at the Sun Herald, which covers Southern Mississippi. Ms. Lee attended community meetings with Mr. Feinberg, and heard a lot about people struggling to keep their homes and businesses intact. She also quickly explained one of the key problems: “…Feinberg promised in town hall meetings across the Gulf to pay individual claims within 48 hours, and business claims within seven days, of being finalized. Many people, including members of the media, took that to mean claims would be paid 48 hours or seven days after they were submitted… But Feinberg was always careful in public meetings to stress the documentation would have to be verified before a claim was finalized.”
She also reported: “Other glitches in the program have been reported since transition from BP to Feinberg’s GCCF. Some claimants have wound up with several claim numbers; supporting documentation can’t always be found; and call-center employees have been unable to say when callers can expect checks, numerous individuals have reported. Biloxi attorney Judy Guice said she personally oversaw claims filing with GCCF for 15 clients, all of whom submitted complete documentation, and some of whom had established their losses and were receiving emergency payments from BP. Guice said Thursday morning none of those clients has been paid.”
The Sun Herald has been consistently passionate and balanced in its coverage, and remains worth a look at http://www.sunherald.com/2010/09/02/2449846.html
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