On June 16th 2010, The Obama Administration and BP announced the creation of the $20 billion dollar "Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund" to provide a faster and more fair way to pay damage claims for individuals and businesses harmed by the Gulf Oil Spill. BP has agreed to contribute $5 Billion per year to the fund until the $20 billion dollars is depleted, including $5 billion in 2010.
President Barak Obama has appointed Kenneth Feinberg to be the administrator of the BP Claims Fund. Mr. Feinberg was previously the administrator of the U.S. Governments $7 billion dollar September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and he has stated that he intends for the $20 Billion BP Oil Spill Claims Fund to be administered by his facility, totally independent of BP and the Obama Administration.
Mr. Feinberg has created the independent Gulf Coast Claims Facility to work for the good people of the Gulf Coast Region on their claims. So far, BP has paid out approximately $200 million in claims related to the spill. These claims are not considered part of the $20 billion dollars that has been delegated to Mr. Feinberg's Gulf Coast Claims Facility for distribution to claimants.
Over the next few months the "claims" procedures with BP will undergo a good bit of change. In this column we will try to make sure that you are equipped with the knowledge to make important and right decisions that impact you and your loved ones.
Coming Soon: The Current Fund vs. The "Feinberg Fund".
Kenneth Feinberg on The Gulf Coast
The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill has become the largest in American History and is the largest accidental spill in human history. The fishing, seafood and tourism industries of the Gulf States has been devastated. Oil has now been confirmed on the shores of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
If your income has been affected or your business has suffered losses as a result of the spill, you likely have a valid claim against BP. Some claims, particularly business, are more complex and may require some assistance. Areas that have suffered the greatest losses from the spill include:
Gulf Coast Claims Facility Began Operations on August 23rd.
The Gulf Coast Claims Facility and its administrator, Kenneth Feinberg, began handling oil spill claims related to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill on August 23rd, 2010.
Recent documentation that has been released by the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) have provided additional information on who will be paid by the $20 Billion Dollar BP Fund for oil spill victims and when they might expect payment.
As the Gulf Coast Claims Facility ramps up operations we will continue to provide legal support to the businesses and others impacted by the BP oil spill. If you are interested in talking about your legal rights, we are ready to assist you.
On April 20th, 2010, the largest oil spill in U.S. history began when the offshore oil platform Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank while nearing completion of the Macondo Well in the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven oil workers were killed and another seventeen were injured in the explosion. Since the leak began, oil gushed into the Gulf at an estimated 35,000 - 60,000 barrels per day, making this the largest oil accident in human history and the largest ecological disaster in American history. For comparisons sake, the flow rate of the well is equal to the entire amount spilled by the Exxon Valdez every one to two weeks.
BP has attempted many different procedures to arrest or contain the flow of oil on the sea floor, including a containment dome, a top kill, a junk shot, a LMRP (Lower Marine Riser Package), and a well cap, which is currently in place. Because the water depth of the well site, which is nearly 5,000 feet below the surface, all of the work has been completed by remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). Before the cap was sealed, BP said that the LMRP was currently capturing about 24,000 barrels of oil per day, or about 1,000 barrels per hour, from the well, which was estimated to be less than half the daily spill rate.
BP and the U.S. Government have both said that the best chance to permanently stop the flow of oil comes in August when the first of two relief wells is completed. The first of the two relief wells being drilled has reached a depth of 16,000 feet below the sea floor. Once that well has reached the target depth of about 17,000 feet, BP plans to drill into the previous well and inject over 40,000 gallons of heavy drilling mud and cement to permanently seal the well.