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Gulf Coast Claims Facility; Process is simply taking too long"

The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig last April 20 ushered in a torrent of litigation and a massive, $20 billion compensation program. According to GCCF’s most recent figures, the fund has paid out nearly $4 billion on some 300,000 claims thus far. Kenneth Feinberg, the well-known mediation lawyer the White House appointed administrator of the GCCF, says he’s pleased with his team’s progress. Still, lawyers helping claimants say many have gotten bogged down in the program’s bureaucracy.

A $20 billion payout scheme doesn’t come without a few hitches. Many claimants argue that the methodology for compensation is too rigid, gauged as it is on workers’ past wages rather than what they expected for 2010 and beyond. They also claim the system can be too arbitrary, with some claimants waiting on money when their colleagues, who seemed to work in the same capacities and at similar wages, have already received their checks. And some say the process is simply taking too long. According to Thomas, in some cases claims that were supposed to be processed within 90 days have sailed past the 110-day mark, putting already-strapped claimants in a jam.

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