ORANGE BEACH, Alabama – “This was supposed to be our year and it would have been our year if the oil spill wouldn’t have happened.” George Sinak got one of the hundreds of letters that went out last week telling him his claim had been denied.
“I was in shock when we got the denial letter,” he says.
Not only did the letter not tell him why, it didn’t tell him what he could do about it.
“No appeals, nothing. I called the toll free all the person up there could tell me was nothing they can do and take a shot maybe write a rebuttal letter and maybe that’ll help but that’s it.”
During his Orange Beach meeting September 15th, Kenneth Feinberg promised an appeals process. Mayor Tony Kennon says that is another broken promise. “There is not an appeals process in place. Going to court is the only appeals process and that’s not a true appeals process. Most folks have not got the financial ability to wait out the two or three or five years or whatever it might be so, that’s not an option.”
Fortunately the almost 500 claims that were denied will be re-evaluated according to the Mayor. “The word is re-review all denials and everyone is eligible.”
Good news for George Sinak and the other businesses like his who wanted the claims process sped up but not like this.
“It looks like they’re trying to do a quick paper shuffle right now to say that they have at least been processing the claims,” says Sinak.
The city of Orange Beach is collecting all the information they can on the claims process. The number of claims, their status, who has been paid and where they are located. They are forwarding that information to the Governor’s office and to the White House.