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Scott, Bondi persuade BP claims czar to improve Florida cases

by Dara Kam | March 3rd, 2011

BP claims czar Ken Feinberg has agreed to improve Florida’s claims processing at the urging of Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi, Scott announced today.

The changes come after tens of thousands of Panhandle Floridians’ claims have languished for months while trying to seek compensation for the April 20th Deepwater Horizon blow-out.

Bondi and Scott met with Feinberg separately while the lawyer, whose firm earns $850,000 a month to manage the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, was in the Capitol to appear before a House committee.

Read the promised improvements after the jump.

Among the items Feinberg agreed to:

- Processing at least 25 percent of all pending claims by March 31, 2011.

- Expanding staffing in Florida to provide more localized treatment of claimants, specifically in Panama City, Pensacola, Santa Rosa, Gulf Breeze and Ft. Walton Beach.

- In each Florida claims office, providing the names of local, independent accounting firms that are available to review and assist claimants in preparing claims documentation. The fees for these accountants will be submitted with the claimant’s GCCF submission as an expense, reimbursable by the GCCF.

- In each Florida claims office, providing a named contact person who is part of Florida claims’ team to allow claimants to obtain additional information on the status of their claim.

- Coordinating the claims process through one person in Florida and one person in Washington in an effort to assure responsiveness and efficiency.

- Having GCCF accountants on site or available by appointment to answer questions for claimants about their claim determination calculations.

- Summarizing, by general category, the reasons for claims being denied to assist with educating claimants and possibly preventing future denials.

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4 Responses to “Scott, Bondi persuade BP claims czar to improve Florida cases”

  1. Unreal Says:

    Breaking News: I just saw a pig fly by!

  2. lwrenn Says:

    Lip service and empty promises from the GCCF. Sort of like two years we will have 100% recovery!

  3. Mark Putnal Says:

    Thank you for allowing comments. The letter from the Governor and AG to Mr. Feinberg falls way short of what is necessary to avoid small businesses from filing lawsuits against BP/GCCF/Feinberg. Mr. Feinberg should have been doing all these things eight months ago. The problem that the Governor and AG fails to see is that there is a serious conflict of interest between Feinberg/GCCF and BP. This is an adversarial process but we were mislead intentionally by Mr. Feinberg that he is “independent” of BP. You can not negotiate your own compensation from one party in a conflict and then represent yourself as neutral between the two parties in the conflict! Then I ask how is it that Mr. Feinberg is being allowed to get away with this? The answer is a mystery to me as a small business owner whose revenue continues to hold at 35% lower over the previous year at this time. The GCCF is either a very brilliant numbers scam against the intent of OPA or this has nothing whatsoever to do with OPA and established guidelines. Recovery factor, LOI and complete omittance of “Capacity” and “Increased Expenses” are designed for one thing and that is to protect BP from spending 20 billion dollars on claims while decreasing their legal risk in court. Small businesses are the most affected because we do not have anyone representing us but ourselves and the GCCF was conceived to manipulate, frustrate, delay and deny our damage claims. Big business have the ability to take their claims to court and pursue punitive awards while small business are left with no help from our elected officials. Yet it is a well known economic factoid that small business spend money in the local economies while large business do not. Elected officials talk about the small business person for votes but when there is an issue like this where they could really do something they seem to “allow Mr. Feinberg’s process to continue for now”. Mr. Feinberg’s process will help BP and hurt small business Floridians if “allowed to continue”. Mr. Feinberg needs to be thanked for his effort and then replaced by someone who does not negotiate their own payment contracts for one side in an adversarial process.

  4. Sandra Johnson Says:

    What about all of the people who are evicted. People turned in Emergency paperwork before the deadline and ALOT were denied like they were tossed to the side due to timing. I myself have turned in eviction notice, water was shut off, been traveling looking for a job, No one can tell us anything. Everyday I am checking the status of now what is an Interim Payment and I just asked the question “Is this just a joke”? They dont care about the single parents who have worked and have lost money due to the oil spill. I am tired of waiting. They keep putting us off!

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