ORANGE BEACH, Alabama – “How could you have blown this so badly?”
“Blown what so badly? Blown what so badly?” says Kenneth Feinberg. “First of all, in three weeks I’ve processed 16 thousand claims and185 million dollars has gone out the door. I’ve blown nothing.”
A recreation center with almost a thousand folks inside might disagree. Everyone in the crowd was ask to stand if they had filed a claim. Then Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon asked those to stand who had received a check from the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. Less than two dozen people stood up.
“Were you surprised by the demonstration when the people stood up and actually gotten checks?” “No, no I’m not surprised. You don’t get surprised much by these programs. The people who aren’t in that room are the people that received checks who are relatively speaking satisfied.”
One person not satisfied Pensacola businessman, Mike Pinzone. “They call him Dr. Feelgood he makes everybody feel good and then he goes away and everybody clapping and applauding and he makes everybody feel good and goes away and he doesn’t do anything that he says.”
This time Feinberg says he will accelerate the process, be more generous with the amount of the checks and have a representative in Alabama to answer questions directly. Those changes he says will happen in a few days. “We’ll review these claims and move as quickly as possible. I can’t say if that will be one day, two days, five days I can’t say.”
“If he can make it happen, I’m all for it.” But Pinzone and others like him are not convinced.
“Its been three weeks since we started this program, the expectation problem is serious. We have processed and paid 16 thousand claims, 185 million dollars has been authorized but its not enough, its not enough and we’ve got to do better,” says Feinberg.
Feinberg says he over promised and under delivered because he didn’t realize how complicated the claims are and how difficult it is to calculate the loss. One suggestion was to pay100 percent of all the emergency claims and resolve any discrepancies in the final settlement. Something Feinberg says he’ll consider.