Some BP Oil Spill Claims near Settlement

Thousands of <"">BP oil spill claims are close to being settled, according to a report in the Washington Post. If finalized, the BP oil spill settlements will resolve claims brought by 900 condominium owners, as well as owners of waterfront businesses, including hotels, motels and restaurants.

In the wake of the disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill, BP agreed to provide at least $20 billion to compensate individuals, businesses, and governmental entities impacted by the disaster. The fund is being administered by Kenneth Feinberg via the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. Claimants may accept interim payments without waiving any of their legal rights. Accepting a final payment requires claimants to release BP and any responsible parties. Claimants can accept interim payments and nevertheless reject the final payment if they find it to be unsatisfactory.

Recently Feinberg has come under criticism for taking too long to pay on oil spill claims, and many have questioned his independence from the oil company because it is paying his law firm a sizable fee. However, one of the lawyers working with a group of attorneys to resolve the aforementioned claims had praise for Feinberg. That attorney told the Post that Feinberg is doing a “fabulous job”, and pointed out that claims submitted by his group were supported by extensive supporting materials from economists, environmental scientists and real estate experts.

According to the Post, as of Thursday, the $20 billion Gulf Coast Claims Facility established by BP had paid 168,634 BP oil spill claims for a total of $3.4 billion. More than 400,000 individuals and 87,412 businesses have asked to be compensated for economic damages resulting from the spill, though a large number of them have been dismissed as having no merit.

The national law firm of <"">Parker Waichman Alonso LLP, which is working with the Law Offices of Daniel E. Becnel, Jr. and Neblett, Beard & Arsenault LLP, said in a statement issued today that it has already recovered millions of dollars for claimants due to the BP oil spill. In the statement, Parker Waichman Alonso said it and its co-counsels were available to help Gulf Coast property and business owners who have sustained significant lost income and reduced property values to their condominiums, hotels, motels, inns, bed and breakfasts, summer homes, office buildings and other properties as a result of the BP oil spill.

The statement also said that BP oil spill claims previously denied by the Gulf Coast Claims Center could be resubmitted to the group, and Parker Waichman Alonso and its partner firms would work to get legitimate claims reopened and reexamined.

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