ORANGE BEACH, Alabama – It’s a story repeated over an over at just about any business waiting for those emergency funds promised by Kenneth Feinberg in seven days. This is just one example:
“We’re going to start closing stores. We don’t have any choice.” It’s been a long summer for Jeff Hardy at Sandollar Lifestyle. “This is a growing company. This was a huge year of growth and the BP oil spill has completely destroyed all of that and left us hanging.”
The family owned business is on borrowed time. “We’ve got to start making decisions with what we have now. We’re at the point where we’re going to have start closing stores.”
Shelves are slowly running out of merchandise and customers are few and far between. The claim he filed that was supposed to be paid in seven days with Gulf Coast Claims Facility is no where to be found. “We don’t know where your file is, we don’t have access to your file, we have no other information so whenever you find out something it will come across the internet.”
Feinberg made big promises. Even to Hardy. “Mr. Feinberg said don’t worry you qualify and da-da-da-da-dah. We still haven’t gotten any money.”
So the wait continues for Hardy and others just like him as they hold on to hope Feinberg and the claims process will step up and do the right thing. “The things that they can make whole they are not willing to do. They are not willing to step up to the plate and write the check that is going to make this thing whole.”
Hardy first filed a claim with BP June 15th. Since then he has gotten one check for five thousand dollars. He says if he ever does get a check from the Gulf Coast Claims Facility it will only be a fraction of what he could have made if the oil spill had never happened.