Held Hostage by Claims Process (VIDEO)


ORANGE BEACH, Alabama – Business is slow this time of year at San Roc Cay Marina. But this year in particular, they don’t know if it will ever pick up. “It’s a waiting game. Nobody knows what February, spring break, summer anything is going to bring.” Susan Boggs and her husband manage the dock store, charter office and have five charter boats. She is determined to be treated fairly. “There are a lot of businesses that are doing their best to hold on and praying that something is going to happen for the good.”

It’s a story heard over and over by at least one gulf coast business counselor who lays some pretty serious charges at the feet of Kenneth Feinberg and the entire claims process.

“They don’t want to pay the money out and that’s why I say they are holding the businesses and the people hostage.” Norman Shuchman says 500 small businesses have come to him for help at the Business Support Center. Many of them out of options. “These people are in dire straits. They are holding them hostage for one reason, that is to drive down the amount they are going to pay them.”

Boggs believes she will be able to hold on but it is a constant struggle. “I don’t know how to feel really. You just don’t know which way to turn. In my opinion if you sue the attorneys are the winners. Yeah, a hostage is a good way to put it.”

See video here: http://www.wkrg.com/gulf_oil_spill/article/held-hostage-by-claims-process/1204082/Jan-17-2011_7-14-pm/

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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