BP Claims Process With The GCCF Easy for Individuals – But a Nightmare for Businesses
While thousands of individuals have settled their loss of income claims with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility with speed and relative ease, small, medium and large businesses are complaining that they’re having a hard time getting compensated for their losses from the GCCFAs a result of the worst offshore oil spill in United States history, on Jun. 16, 2010 the White House ordered BP, the responsible company, to put $20 billion in an escrow account and set up the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, known as GCCF.
Background For The GCCF Fund Creation
BP and the White House then agreed upon appointing Kenneth R. Feinberg, a renowned attorney who oversaw settlement payouts for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, as the third-part administrator to objectively oversee the Gulf-Oil settlements. At first, many individuals and small business claims were settled quickly. But as the process continued, many business owners began complaining the amounts being offered and the time it took to settle were too little – too late.
Florida’s Attorney General Seeks Help With BP Claims
In fact, there have been so many complaints from businesses in some of the affected areas that Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi this week took the unusual step to seek help from private lawyers in possible oil-spill litigation by issuing a public request from top law firms for their proposals. In a press release, Bondi said that while this didn’t mean Florida had made a definitive decision to sue GCCF, it did mean her office was considering all options. Bondi spelled out her intentions more clearly in the actual request for proposals:“The State of Florida, Department of Legal Affairs, Office of the Attorney General (the “Department”) is exploring the possibility of obtaining professional legal services from a private law firm or firms to serve as co-counsel to the Department in various potential legal matters relating to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.”
Audit Questions Mirror Business Complaints About The GCCF
In addition, Bondi fired off a letter to the U.S. Dept. of Justice requesting that certain questions be answered in any audit of GCCF settlement practices. Not surprisingly, Bondi’s concerns echo the same concerns of the business community.Here are some of them:
- Too much documentation or duplicate documentation of losses is being required.
- The slowness of payment once a settlement is reach. Claimants are supposed to be paid within 90 days, but that is not happening, according to some businesses.
- There are complaints that some different settlement amounts are being paid out for similar losses in other areas. There is no uniformity or sense of equal treatment.
- Some complain that GCCF is dragging its feet on claims as a strategy to make businesses accept smaller amounts in turn for “quick pay.”
Protect Your Company’s Interests And Recover Your Oil Spill Losses
While some legal experts point out that in a perfect world their services would never be needed, the reality is that even Florida’s Attorney General is considering hiring legal counsel on behalf of the state’s citizens including its business community. Her actions speak volumes.If you have a small, medium of large business, you should also keep all your options open. If you are experiencing difficulties settling your BP claims with GCCF. Why not contact an attorney today for a free no-obligation consultation? Visit www.bp-claim.com and get help from an attorney, and account or an independant adjuster.
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