Friday, August 20, 2010

Ken Feinberg's Claims Protocol Released

Ken Feinberg (right) at a town hall meeting in Bayou La Batre,
Ala. (Photo by Bill Starling/Courtesy of Press-Register)

Ken Feinberg releases protocol for the Gulf Coast Coast Claims Facility

By Nicholas Moroni

As attorney Ken Feinberg plans to officially take over the administration of the claims process on Monday as head of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, he announced today the protocol for his deliberations.

Not surprisingly, claimants seeking financial reparartions for alleged damage suffered subsequent to the BP oil spill, will largely have to rely on the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 as the framework that determines the legitimacy of their claims. Feinberg has announced that he will be slightly flexible in his determinations, however OPA is heavily referenced.

For example, with regards to businesses, the protocal states that a legitimate claim can be made for damages suffered as a result of injury and/or destruction or loss of property or revenue: a page right out of the post-Exxon Valdez legislation.

However, the guidelines also state that anyone, regardless of whether or not that individual is the owner of the business, is techinically eligible for compensation as long as he or she is able to prove a loss.

What's more, in certain cases, Feinberg will not require the heavy loads of paperwork BP mandated prior to even considering certain claims. Fisherman and deck hands that deal in cash, can call upon a third party to vouch for the vailidty of their claim.

"When the claims center opens on August 23, the entire claims process will be in place to get people out the door, and money to those most deeply affected," Feinberg told the Alabama news blog,

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