Hopefully, the $20 billion fund that BP has set aside to pay for losses caused by the disaster in the Gulf will start making payments this month. Ken Feinberg told a meeting of government officials in Louisiana on July 15th that he expected “a seamless transition” from BP management to his administration. While nothing has been paid from the fund so far, Feinberg claimed that by the end of the first week of August his group would be ready to make payments. It may be that Mr. Feinberg has let BP have too much influence on how this fund is to be administered. Hopefully, I’m wrong, but we will soon find out.
So if the Feinberg projection is accurate, a few claims should have been paid by the time this issue is received. Hopefully, the process will work and all legitimate claims will be paid. However, before BP gets any full releases of liability there must be a process in place that actually pays all claims for losses to date, and provide for full payment of all future losses. I am concerned that the fund will not pay for all of the losses incurred, either past or future, and that poses a major problem. There must be a procedure built into the claims-handling process ensuring that individuals and businesses will be fully compensated for their losses. I also believe somebody with authority must monitor the man operating the fund to make sure BP is not having too much influence on who is paid and how much. Ultimately, I believe the judicial system will have to be involved to assure that individuals and businesses are treated fairly.
Source: Associated Press
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