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Oil panel boiling mad over BP claims czar’s broken promises

by Dara Kam | September 1st, 2010

BP oil spill claims czar Ken Feinberg, hired by the oil giant and President Barack Obama to hand out $20 billion to individuals and businesses impacted by the massive oil blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, overpromised and underdelivered, state officials and others said today.

Feinberg took over BP’s maligned claims process on Aug. 23, pledging he would “bend over backwards” to help claimants get emergency six-month payments to help them cope with the financial woes many have encountered since the April 20 disaster.

Feinberg last appeared before Gov. Charlie Crist’s Oil Spill Economic Recovery Task Force last month and left even skeptical members of the panel, including Department of Children and Families Secretary George Sheldon, with high hopes that the Boston lawyer would fix BP’s botched claims system.

But Feinberg’s new process, called the “Gulf Coast Claims Facility,” is leaving a lot to be desired, many of the panelists discovered Tuesday.

“I never thought I’d say this but part of me would like BP back,” said Sheldon, who was one of the oil company’s harshest critics before Feinberg took over. “What he articulated to all of us was something totally different than what’s in this protocol.”

The panel is demanding that Feinberg appear before them again and plans to confront him with a transcript of what he said he would do, like allow a priest to verify that information in a claim was accurate, and what they hear is taking place.

The panel heard a litany of complaints about claimants being assigned more than one number to their file, not being able to get answers from adjusters at claims offices, disappearing documents and an 18-page application even for those who had already filed a claim with BP.

Bob Zales, a Panama City charter boat captain who sits on the panel, raised eyebrows with his own tale of problems refiling his claim.

Zales said he was given five claims numbers for his claim and didn’t get much help when he went to a local claims office. The adjuster’s solution was to take Zales’ cell phone and call the toll-free hotline, Zales told the committee.

Feinberg did not follow through on his promise of a seamless transition, Zales said.

“Somewhere there is a serious problem with this claims process,” Zales said. “I can’t make a claim on m number that I’m not sure is my number. I don’t know where my paperwork is. Don’t have a clue. We’ve got a serious problem with this new claims facility.”

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10 Responses to “Oil panel boiling mad over BP claims czar’s broken promises”

  1. crystal bradberry Says:

    i have been waiting for 3 months,only got paid for first 2 months and then was put on hold becouse of the switch over, was told to ask for a advance emerg!!!did first day of take over, well almost 2 weeks later and nothing yet !!! i live in grand isle,LA front line and no help yet!!!! i do not think any of them realy care for it is not them!!!

  2. rusty Says:

    What a surprise… I can’t imagine multi- national companies or the government screwing the average citizen

  3. Brian J. Donovan Says:

    UPDATE:

    It has been nine days since the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) took over the claims process from BP. GCCF reports 18,900 individual claims were submitted in the first week and payments were authorized to only 1,200 individuals totaling about $6 million in emergency compensation. This equates to a paltry $833.33 per individual per month for each of the six-month emergency compensation payments.

    This article briefly addresses: (a) how GCCF limits BP’s liability via the systematic postponement, reduction or denial of claims against BP; (b) how GCCF guarantees BP’s continued long-term operation in the offshore Gulf of Mexico E&P sector; and (c) why GCCF is not necessary to ensure that victims of the BP oil spill are fully compensated for incurred damages.

    http://donovanlawgroup.wordpress.com/2010/08/23/the-gulf-coast-claims-facility-limits-bps-liability-and-guarantees-the-oil-companys-continued-operation-in-the-gulf-of-mexico/

  4. REALLY? Says:

    Are any of these idiots surprised that the government screwed them? They must have all voted democrat…give me a freaking break

  5. crystal bradberry Says:

    u know u do not have to be a ~~~~~~~ !!! if u can not understand don’t talk about it!!! and GOD DOES NOT LIKE UGLY!!!! so think about what u say to others !!!

  6. James Says:

    I entered my claim online August 23rd. Within two days I checked my claim status online through the GCCF website. My status was listed as, “claim under review”. Today, September 2nd, my status is still “claim under review”.

    I have called the GCCF claimant toll free number a total of six times and have literally received six different answers from the “operators”.

    These operators don’t have an answer to my question, “what does under review mean?” I’m not in an immediate need for the funds, but I sure would like to know what’s going on and why no one there seems to know what if anything is happening to my claim.

    I’ve lost over four thousand dollars in provable income with documentation, receipts, and pay stubs to prove it. My loss of income is in direct relation to the oil disaster. The money is available to people like me due in large part to a federal law. So to those people who think we’re just looking for a hand-out: think twice before making off-handed and rude comments.

  7. crystal bradberry Says:

    thanks james i could not have said it any better!!!!it has been the same here with my claim!

  8. Captain Trey Landry Says:

    Welcome to the world of Obama, and why we all expected any better with his 20 billion claims fund under Feinberg funds.
    At this point I wish I could have made some of that easy VOO money at 1400 a day x30 days = 40,000 monthly, some got payed well. My 14 years USCG LIC CAPTAIN and TWIC Lic, GOT ME chopped Liver? The United States Coast Guard let BP use eight types of experimental detergant chemical dispersants that is more harmful to all plant, fish and animal life than to just clean up the oil by itself. DEP, EPA,what the hell are you all thinking,hide the truth? FEMA also Home land Security TWIC, also out of line with BP VOO program with reguards to most hired Voo vessels not being USCG licensed and twic validated Lic. holders with all the recreation vessel owners being paid in this,as they got the GOLD MINE and we got THE SHAFT? Time for the Royal Shaft with GCCF as it seems. Live and Learn, Die and Forget it all. How Bout that BP Man that got his life back and EIGHT MILLION RETIERMENT for screwing US. GOD BLESS AMERICA!! Any one TEA PARTY LATELY?

  9. mary Says:

    my husband got a bp claim number then had to go back and get another one when the bp claims were taken over he didnt get paid anything it said that he is ineligible to recieve payments that they arent paying those due to the moratorium i think that this is so messed up we were told by the people that are doing the bp claims that was working for bp that they are paying those who were affected by the moratorium

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