February 23, 2011
Price of Amends: BP finds fault with Feinberg's settlement proposals
Since being appointed to manage BP's $20 billion oil spill compensation fund, Kenneth Feinberg has received criticism from claimants and politicians regarding the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) process and problems involving delayed payments or denied claims. Now, from the opposite end of the spectrum, BP is publicly chastising Feinberg for proposing settlements that it believes to be overly charitable.
BP argues that the projected payments for claims exceed anticipated damages and exaggerate the potential for future losses, stating that compensation should fall within 25 to 50 percent of claimants' 2010 losses. This range is significantly less than what Feinberg originally proposed.
Despite BP's objection, Feinberg ultimately has control over the outcome of victims' claims as the Fund's administrator.
BP publicly stated its criticism of Feinberg on the same day the oil spill commission released a final staff report concluding that BP knew years prior to the Deepwater Horizon disaster that there were problematic issues with Halliburton. Fred Bartlit, the commission's chief counsel, stated, "the sad fact is that this was an entirely preventable disaster. Poor decisions by management were the real cause."
Read Bryan Walsh's full blog featured by Time.