State Officials Urge Spill Victims to Consult with Lawyers Before Accepting Final Payment from BP; Joint Letter Warns Victims to “Proceed with Caution”


Here’s a sign people have lost all faith in BP’s claims process: State officials sign a joint letter warning spill victims to “proceed with caution” and consult with attorneys before accepting a final payment from BP’s Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF).

The attorneys general (AGs) from Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana warn that final agreements with BP’s $20 billion compensation fund may bring a check, but they ban “any future remedy to any recurring or new problems that could come along.” The AGs offer an example: Should a hurricane wash more BP oil ashore next year, those who signed final settlements have no legal options.

Meanwhile, the GCCF has apparently missed another deadline on emergency claims. Kenneth Feinberg had said that all the claims would be cleared by Wednesday (Dec. 15), but the Press-Register’s Dan Muraugh reports that “thousands” of claims remained unprocessed Wednesday night.

That’s a huge deal as spill victims look at three payout options: (1) Take the new quick-cash final settlement if you were one of the lucky few who received an emergency payment; (2) file for a one-time final settlement; or (3) continue to file for quarterly payments. The first two require that you never sue BP and its Big Oil spill partners – while the quarterly payments do not.

But by making the claims process so slow, random and frustrating, the Claims Center has created a serious downside to what would otherwise seem a good option. Some people can handle that process, but many others will give up. One governor has already called the process “extortion” and now four AGs are urging caution and strongly recommending legal counsel.

What a sad day that it’s come to this for BP spill victims.

Read the Press-Register story here:

© Smith Stag, LLC 2010 – All Rights Reserved

1 comment

  • I have been fighting thus claim since May..I have had & adjusters say my claim is legitiment. When BP processed my claim in June,they gave me a check in the claims office . One check was for 1,000 for May, & one check for June for 500$. They said they would send me a letter in 10 days w/ the other 500…they never came. Then GCCF took over, and it is a night mare. they denied my claim for emergency stating my name, SS# and tax payer ID are not verified….they have copies of my DL, my SS card and every record imaginable. I personally watched my documents get faxed and fed ex several times..all in order. now they want me to start all over again, in the mean time I have lost everything and I am now destitute. There is no work as there are no tourists. The stress level in light of all this is off the charts..I need help. I did a fair days work, paid my taxes, and BP put me out of work.Thank you.

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

Follow Us

© Stuart H Smith, LLC
Share This