In an opinion piece titled The Phony Settlement, Joe Nocera of the NYT, on March 9, lamented the change in the means of compensating victims of the BP Oil Spill. Some excerpts:
Earlier this week, Feinberg stepped down from the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (as it is officially called), having doled out $6.1 billion to some 220,000 claimants. It is in the process of being replaced by a new claims facility, the result of the recent settlement between BP and the plaintiffs’ lawyers who had been suing the company in federal court in New Orleans.
That settlement has been estimated as being worth $7.8 billion, but, since it is uncapped, it could actually wind up costing BP a lot more than that. And even though the vast majority of legitimate claims have already been paid by Feinberg, the settlement will generate hundreds of thousands of new claims, many of which are likely to be bogus.
Some comments from Feinberg, March 30th, on the payout process.