Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has weighed-in on the side of business owners and individuals harmed by the BP oil spill — challenging a judge’s ruling that helped establish a payment plan for trial lawyers.
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier last month ordered that 6 percent of all settlements reached after Nov. 7 be reserved to finance the work of plaintiff lawyers in continuing litigation stemming from the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
In turn, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, in charge of distributing non-lawsuit claims, halted payments to thousands of businesses and people waiting for compensation. Facility administrator Kenneth Feinberg has said he ordered the freeze while seeking a clarification from Barbier on his ruling.
Bondi has filed a legal brief challenging the judge’s order — saying it’s unfair to those who tried to go through the Gulf Coast Claims system established to accelerate payments and avoid lawsuits.
“Individuals and businesses that suffered financial losses due to the oil spill deserve to receive fair compensation as quickly as possible, and that compensation should not be reduced due to the overreaching demands of plaintiffs’ lawyers who have done nothing to help them,” Bondi said Friday. “I have asked the Court to ensure that claimants receive the full compensation that they deserve.”