Businesses and individuals damaged by BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have been paid more than $1 billion through the company’s class action settlement, according to court-supervised Claims Administrator Patrick Juneau. He and his staff are doing a very good job, claimants are being treated fairly, and claims are being paid in a timely manner. The $1 billion that Juneau’s team has paid is for claims that were filed after the settlement was announced last year. They also paid an additional $404 million for claims that Juneau inherited after replacing the Gulf Coast Claims Facility led by Kenneth Feinberg.
The GCCF processed about 221,300 claims following the 2010 spill and paid out more than $6 billion before the court-supervised claims process was established in June 2012. Many believe that multiple claimants either went unpaid or did not receive full value on their claims. Juneau’s staff has handled more than 223,000 calls about the settlement, and has received more than 97,000 claims. According to Juneau, 95 percent of claimants who were offered payments by his team accepted them. He said in a statement:
I feel this high rate of acceptance reflects the fairness of the settlement amounts as well as the fairness of the claims process.
Thousands of people and businesses opted out of the settlement to pursue their claims individually. BP has estimated that it will pay about $7.8 billion to resolve more than 100,000 claims through the settlement. But the settlement, which received U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier’s final approval last month, isn’t capped. That was a very important part of the settlement. BP agreed to pay $2.3 billion for seafood-related claims by commercial fishing vessel owners, captains and deckhands. Seafood claims are among the $1.4 billion that Juneau’s team has paid. I believe when all is said and done the total payout by BP in the settlement will greatly exceed $7.8 billion.
The deadline for claim forms to be filed for the settlement’s seafood program was January 22, 2013. The deadline for filing all other claims is April 22, 2014. Judge Barbier gave preliminary approval to the settlement agreement in May 2012.
The April 2010 blowout of BP’s Macondo well off the southeast Louisiana coast triggered an explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig that killed 11 workers. More than 200 million gallons of oil spilled from the well before it was capped months later. If you need more information on the settlement, contact Rhon Jones, who is on the PSC, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Rhon.Jones@beasleyallen.com.
Source: Claims Journal
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