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BP Attempts to Cut Future BP Claims Loses

BP gives marching orders to Feinberg regarding Future BP Claims

Brown Shrimp numbers are down 90% after the Oil Spill

BP  in a letter to Feinberg, is saying that Feinberg should not pay any BP claims for future loses because fisheries have reopened and the tourist season is back in full swing, as they cite hotel industry statistics, and news reports, reporting strong business backed by summertime tourism. The BP Claims process should not take into consideration future loses when factoring BP Claims. The remarks made by BP to Feinberg leave little doubt who is in charge of the BP Claims process. Just when you thought things could not get any worse at the GCCF, and their ability to treat BP Claims fairly

At the beginning of July, the GCCF had paid $4.5 billion in claims to 195,000 claimants. There are also about $430 million worth of offers that are under consideration by Gulf residents. Mind you that almost 600,000 BP Claims have been filed.

BP Claims Ploy or just Absolute Arrogance

Could this be just a ploy by BP to get people to accept the next batch of BP claims settlements. According to my calculations BP is about to pay the next round of BP Claims, remember they get founded with 1.2 Billion dollars every quarter. The last wave of claims we saw receive settlements was mid April, making mid July the next wave that should occur. When it occurs we will see a sudden jump in offers being made, many of these offers will be Interim Claims offers accompanied by Final Claim offers. The news seems to coincide with the next wave of BP Claims settlement offers, coincidence, I doubt it. BP and the GCCF have joint strategies and the biggest one is to settle the most amount of BP Claims, for the least amount of money, by BP telling the public that it wants to take future loses off the table, many people with valid BP Claims will be inclined to settle now.

The Arrogance of BP to even suggest that the Gulf Region is back to normal and exceeding pre spill numbers marks a new low in the BP Claims process. It is understandable that BP and the GCCF want people to believe that everything is alright after the Oil Spill, many business owners share the same sentiment. The fact however is everything is not all right, and according to various sources things could get a lot worse in time, neither BP or Gulf Coast Business owners want to hear this.

BP Claims and the lesson from Alaska: Herring and Brown Shrimp

Johnathan and I

I just spent a week with Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand of the Time Bandit from the show Deadliest Catch, they are two dear friends that were in town for the Suncoast Offshore. They were instrumental in helping me launch previous charity sites that helped 1000`s of people connect with charities directly after the BP Oil Spill. They are quick to point out that the fishery in Prince William sound seemed normal for the first several years, then dramatically dropped, never to return to normal 20+ years later. Current estimates have the Herring population at about 15% of the pre spill population.  The latest indicators from the Gulf Fishery show a dramatic decline in the catch of brown shrimp, this has happened even faster then anticipated. The catch is down over 90% and fleets of shrimpers have halted fishing for them. This is the real truth, that many families are grappling with, as they try make a living in this once thriving industry, at the same time BP is putting everyone on notice that they don`t want to pay for future loses for BP Claims.

Time is needed for a more complete evaluation of the Health of the Gulf of Mexico, as we have learned from past oil spills, many of the effects from such a catastrophic oil spill won`t be known for years. For BP to make such sweeping statements that it will not be responsible for future losses incurred by Gulf residents at this early juncture, only furthers my belief that the true course is to move forward with BP Interim Claims only.

 

 

 

BP Claims versus EAP Claims: Understanding why some got Paid

BP Claims and EAP`s

BP Claims Czar Dropped the Ball

When the the Deep Water Horizon blew up, causing the most catastrophic oil spill we have ever seen, BP took action paying people, the payouts were called called Emergency Advanced Payments. EAP`s as they became known were collected by many who were injured by the BP Oil Spill. Often when people think of getting paid by BP they are referring to these EAP`s. That`s because when the emergency claim period ended November 23, of 2010, and Ken Feinberg officially took over and created the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, very few larger claims were paid. The primary purpose of the GCCF was to pay people Interim Claims and Final Claims and process those BP Claims. The Interim Claims were meant to keep people and business`s afloat as the extent of the damage was evaluated and the true financial toll on people and business`s could be quantified. There was NEVER any mention of BP Quick Pays previously in the BP Claims process.

Quick Pay versus BP Claims

On December 13th, 2010 Feinberg changed all the rules and came out with the Quick Pay option, touted as a quick solution for those in the BP Claims Process.  The BP Quick Pay`s would initially only be offered to the business`s and individuals ( 25k and 5k respectively) that had successfully received an EAP, that would also change as it became an instrument to prey on the desperate. All of this while Feinberg was telling the public that he and the GCCF were Independent of BP, it would later take a court ruling to get him to stop. When history looks back on this manipulation of the public trust by Ken Feinberg, it will go down as a black mark on the Obama Administration, and Ken Feinberg`s legacy. Over 100,000 people and business`s took the Quick Pay Option, many regret it.  Anyone receiving a BP Quick Pay would give up their right to sue BP, and agree not to pursue their BP Claims. Meanwhile the GCCF and Feinberg would put BP Interim Claims on the back burner.

BP Claims Czar not Independent

Many like to say hindsight is twenty twenty, a quick look back at Feinbergs actions and his manipulation of the BP Claims process can only come up with one conclusion. He does work for BP. Judge Barbier may have put it best in his ruling regarding Feinberg`s claims of being Independent. Judge Barbier said “While BP may have delegated to Mr. Feinberg and the GCCF independence in the evaluation and payment of individual claims, many other facts support a finding that the GCCF and Mr. Feinberg are not completely ‘neutral’ and independent from BP.” Because of this many people who signed off on the BP Quick Pay, may be able to sue BP, the Judge has not made his ruling yet, regarding whether people were misled by Mr. Feinberg, or coerced because of duress. This could open the BP Claims process back up for over 100,000 people. The BP Claims process has some history to it now, and if you stop listening to the words from  Mr. Feinberg, but look at his actions since he took over, the conclusion is simple, he is here to save BP money and delay your BP Claims.

If you want help with your BP claim, if your tired of hearing your claim is under review, or you need more documents, even if you signed off for your BP Quick Pay, fill out the form to the right.

BP Claims Current Trends

BP Claims And BP

If You Google BP Claims you will see a paid ad from BP that reads: Visit BP’s Claims Page & Learn How To Make A Claim Without A Lawyer. If you haven`t figured it out by now, if they suggest you go left, you may want to strongly consider going right.

By this time many of you have tried to work out your BP Claim with the GCCF only to hear that your claim is UNDER REVIEW, or they NEED MORE DOCUMENTS, which then puts your claim at the bottom of the pile again, they often forget to tell you that. Many of you figured that the GCCF would deal with you in good faith, only to find out otherwise.

Simply put, they are stalling.  The GCCF is allotted only 1.25 billion (from the 20 billion set aside) each quarter from BP – they spend it paying off as many “nuisance claims” as they can – and a few “high-maintenance” claims (which are usually represented by aggressive attorneys) – this is done in a few weeks, leaving them to stall again for the next two and a half months.
If you are a Business owner or an Individual, and counted on BP ” Making it Right” you may have a long wait.  BP and the GCCF do not want you to take into consideration that you may have Multiple Claims, that the true extent of your losses may not be known in the time window they have given you to calculate your losses, when in fact the true extent of damage done and the long term effects on the economy, the environment, and your health won`t truly be known for years, how do you calculate that in your BP Claims.

BP Business Claims Example: Multiple BP Claims

The Attorneys that we work with are playing leading roles in the upcoming litigation in New Orleans.  Plus, they have more experience holding BP accountable  then any other law firms in the country, and have the support staff to make sure every Revenue Stream that you or your Business has coming in has been accounted for, and how the Oil Spill and the Stigma may affect your BP Claims.

For Example: a Seafood Restaurant in Grand Isle didn`t just lose customers because nobody was going out there, they also had a rise in seafood prices because product had to be shipped in.

If that same restaurant owned their building, that property greatly depreciated. That too was affected. Now lets go even further, and say that restaurant owned boats that would usually be used for fishing or shrimping, but instead were used in the Vessels of Opportunity program to help clean up the Spill, they couldn`t go fishing and sell the catch to other vendors, and the boats themselves were damaged in the clean up process.

Then you need to factor in how long all of these different events will affect your Business. The fact is nobody really knows, but a good rule of thumb is 3-5 years, barring any other occurrences.
This is an example of Multiple BP Business Claims.

BP Claims and Forensic Accountants

How do Attorneys figure the extent and types of damage that your Business incurred, Forensic Accountants.

Forensic Accountants specialize in looking at a business, taking all things into consideration and arriving at real number that covers your losses.

Do you think that BP or the GCCF are going to help you accurately take all of these different factors into consideration when you are working directly with them?  They have no intention, or the resources to help you calculate  how long  you, or you Business will be affected for, not to mention the Multiple Claims the you may have. They have their BP Claims Methodology in place, who do you think that benefits.

The BP claims process has become adversarial, just think about this.  After months of not paying out any interim or final claims, they came up with the Quick Pay, if your Business lost revenue from the spill and it looked like you had a good claim against them, they made blanket offers of 25k to all the businesses that were affected and individuals got a 5k offer.

When in fact many business owners and individuals  lost so much more, they did this only after many months of not paying them anything, many took these Quick Pays just so they could keep the doors open a little longer or to pay overdue bills, but they also agreed not to sue BP.  There is a strategy going on here, it is called Delay, Deny, Defend, commonly used by unscrupulous insurance companies, the way the GCCF is handling your BP Claims is no different.

BP Claims Experts on Your Side

The first thing to remember is that BP and the GCCF are by no means on your side, just look at their actions. Oil Spill Attorneys that have the proper resources in place, and truly want to protect their clients best interests are the best way to get the compensation you deserve from BP.

Seasoned Oil Spill Attorneys that understand the process, and are respected in their field and are able to get the GCCF and BP`s attention.

Already some of the Attorneys we work with have been asked to consolidate their cases into blocks so that the GCCF can settle their whole case load or blocks of their case load. Why, because they know these Attorneys mean business, and BP does not want to go into litigation against them. While other Attorneys have gotten claims paid within 2 months.

What does this mean for you, it means that you will have BP Claims Experts on your side, we have seen people who initially thought their claim was only worth 10k walk away with more then 60k.
If your claim is settled in a block of claims you don`t have to accept the offer, this is why it is not a BP class action. Your claim is still going through the BP Claims Process after it has been thoroughly investigated and maximized. Finally, if a BP settlement can not be reached it will move to litigation, where an Expert Attorney who knows Oil Spill litigation will fight for your Rights.

All this being said there is an old adage ” Never bring a Knife to a Gun Fight” I am proud to say that we do have the Biggest Guns for this Fight. The Dream Team of Attorneys we have connected with, will do their best to get your BP Claims paid.

GCCF Should be Knocking on Doors not Closing Offices and hiding behind Statistics

GCCF to Close Offices

After a comprehensive review of the 35 GCCF site offices throughout the Gulf, the GCCF has decided to close eight of the claims offices throughout the Gulf region,” says Camille Biros of Feinberg-Rozen, the law firm headed by Gulf Coast claims czar Kenneth Feinberg. One office in Alabama, and four offices in Florida also will close.

Louisiana legislative leaders are asking Ken Feinberg, who is overseeing the payments from a $20 billion compensation fund for victims of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, to keep open three claims offices he plans to close next week.

Senators Speakout on GCCF Office Closures

Senate President Joel Chaisson and House Speaker Jim Tucker sent letters to Feinberg on Tuesday pushing for the claims offices to remain open in Lafitte, Grand Isle and Morgan City. The offices are slated to close June 1.Chaisson says the closure of three claims offices could increase frustrations against Feinberg and would be a disservice to those still struggling to recover from the disaster.

Sen. Norby Chabert, R-Houma, said in an online interview that the decision will be a “travesty,” especially since many claims originating in these areas will still be pending action at the end of the month.

“The BP people should be knocking on doors to help people, not closing down the office that’s set up to help them,” Chabert said.

GCCF by the Numbers

As of May 19, there had been a total of 512,000 claims made through the GCCF, which have resulted in $4 billion being paid out.

In Louisiana, 200,000 claims have been filed and $1.3 billion awarded.

The GCCF has reviewed almost 88 percent of all interim and final claims. Their Numbers

GCCF and Statistics what they don`t want you to Know

The Reality is The GCCF has deployed a strategy of working their way up the claims ladder, paying the least amount possible to the most amount of people so that their statistics look impressive, and they will continue that strategy for the foreseeable future. I know as a fact that they are taking the lesser claims first as they are getting ready to settle the next group of claims.

Remember the GCCF is on a budget. There is not 20 Billion dollars sitting in a bank account, the 20 Billion is funded in increments on a quarterly basis, approximately 1.25 Billion per quarter. That is why there is waves of claims being settled every 3 months, the next wave coming in mid July. If you look at the quick pay settlements which were a travesty in my opinion, they setlled about 100,000 claims by waiting people and business`s out, then offering them 5k and 25k respecitvely, the next wave of claims to get settled is going to be many of the lowerend waiter and waitress type claims, again so there numbers look impressive statistically, remember statistics lie and so does BP.

They promised to make us whole, they promised payments would be quick, they promised this would be a fair process. Instead they are paying the least possible to the most possible so statistically they look impressive, we all learned along time ago that statistics lie.

The good news is we have connected with Attorneys that are getting people paid, if you need help, and had enough, fill out the form to the right.

 

 

What the GCCF and Feinberg don’t want you to Know

The GCCF is run by  Ken Feinberg who has found a niche for his law firm Feinberg/Rozen settling  large numbers of cases against a particular defendant. In this case the defendant is BP Oil.

The GCCF and Feinberg: How they Work

Feinberg/Rozen is used to handling a large amount of claimants that are represented by Attorneys that have been injured by unscrupulous or careless Business`s. Their other current large case is  Avandia, a drug whose true side effects were hidden by GlaxoSmithKline, resulting in death by heart attack for many. In this case people who have been harmed by taking Avandia retain Attorneys to settle their claims against the makers of Avandia through Feinberg/Rozen. The Attorneys usually put together blocks of claims from 100-1000 then each case/claim is given a dollar amount based on injury. The claimant either agrees or disagrees with the number and has the right to accept or reject the offer. This is the way Feinberg/Rozen is use to working. They have systems in place to handle large amounts of claims brought to them by Attorneys, this historically is the way they work, and the GCCF and BP claims process is no different. They tell you you don`t need an attorney, but in actuality their systems and processes insist on having an  Attorney involved, it`s just the way they work.

Attorneys are settling GCCF and BP Claims in Bulk

As I write this I know of  Attorneys that have settled their entire case load with Feinberg Rozen and the GCCF, and I know that more Law Firms are currently negotiating with them to settle 10`s of Thousands of cases. The GCCF does not want you to know this, they want you to believe that your case will be handled by the GCCF in an independent and timely manner. People have been waiting a very long time now to get their Interim or Final claim money only to be given a quick pay offer where they have to sign away all future right of suing BP and settle for 5k for an individual or 25k for a business regardless of the business losses.

GCCF Percentages

Lets look at the Percentages of types of claims the GCCF has paid Quick Pay 97% paid Interim Claims 14% Paid Final Claims 19% Paid Attorneys understand how to work with Feinberg/Rozen and many have worked with them before on other types of cases. They have Forensic accountants on staff to insure that all losses are accounted for. The GCCF and Feinberg do not want you to use an attorney, they promised us timely payments, they told us they were independent, they lied. We have put together a Dream Team of Attorneys that know how to handle the GCCF and to help you, let them.

BP Makes Claims: Follow the Pattern

BP Claims against Partners

BP asserted claims against Cameron, Halliburton and Transocean in the limitation of liability action,” the report said. “BP’s claims against Transocean include breach of contract, unseaworthiness of the Deepwater Horizon vessel, negligence (or gross negligence and/or gross fault as may be established at trial based upon the evidence) … as well as a declaratory claim that Transocean is wholly or partly at fault for the Incident and responsible for its proportionate share of the costs and damages.”

The report said, “BP’s claims against Cameron assert that Cameron is liable under maritime law for providing a blowout preventer that was unreasonably dangerous in design based on certain design defects, that Cameron was negligent with respect to certain maintenance and repair that it conducted on the Deepwater Horizon BOP …”

A blowout preventer is a giant valve designed to prevent sudden eruptions of pressure.

BP Claims against Haliburton

Moreover, the report said, “BP asserted claims against Halliburton for fraud and fraudulent concealment based on Halliburton’s misrepresentations to BP concerning, among other things, the stability testing on the foamed cement used at the Mississippi Canyon Block 252 well; for negligence (or, if established by the evidence at trial, gross negligence) based on Halliburton’s performance of its professional services, including cementing and mud logging services; and for contribution and subrogation for amounts that BP has paid in responding to the incident and oil spill, as well. …”

Also on April 20, the report said, BP filed a complaint in federal court in Houston against Halliburton alleging “the same counts as BP’s claim against Halliburton in Transocean’s limitation of liability action.”

Halliburton, Cameron and Transocean all filed countersuits.

How Does this effect the BP Claims Process

If you look at how this is playing out between BP and it`s partners, you can see a pattern forming. Everybody is pointing the finger at someone else. It only makes sense that when it comes to BP paying on the claims it is going to point the finger at every other factor it possibly can.

BP is going to utilize every piece of leverage it can, to pay the most minimal amount possible to claimants. BP will point out the lingering effects from Katrina, the slumping economy, and now the great flood of 2011. If they hold true to form , BP will try to make the BP claims process muddier then the Mississippi.

The BP Claims and GCCF Claims Process is Broken

The GCCF Independence Charade

The GCCF is controlled by Arthur Feinberg. Mr Feinberg is employed by BP. The BP Claims process was created by BP, then revamped by Mr. Feinberg under the GCCF banner. During this transition, the process has stalled, and left many without the promised cash along the time lines promised. Mr Feinberg would like people to view he and the GCCF as independent of BP, they are anything but. For example, if your claim is over 250k it needs BP approval. So much for being independent. Finally Judge Barbier ruled that he was not, and could not tell people that he and the GCCF were independent.

Should we wait on the GCCF?

There are a lot of people who have taken a wait and see attitude, while many who were in more need, are now homeless, due to foreclosures and cars getting repossessed. For the life of me I can`t understand why there was not a moratorium for foreclosures and repo`s through out the Gulf region, for individuals that showed a direct link of loss due to the oil spill. Why make people wait, wait, and wait, only to lose everything. There were people that have been waiting since the GCCF took over, for their BP Claims money, only to get waited out by the GCCF, and forced to take a quick pay deal. So when everyone was waiting for the check to come, and desperation grew,  BP made quick pay offers of 5k for individuals and 25k for business`s, but they had to sign away any future claims, and agree not sue BP. Now does that sound like they are really here to help people.

The GCCF claims system is broken

How many times I have been told that somebody`s paperwork got lost, or they haven`t heard for months, then only to get a denial. The GCCF claims system is broken. It`s supposed to be saving people, not helping them reach new found levels of desperation. BP claims money simply should have gotten to the people by now. Instead BP is trying to narrow the field of claims they will pay, today they came down on moratorium claims. Claiming that they are not responsible for the government banning deepwater drilling. Memo to BP, Obama wouldn`t have closed down a whole industry, if it was not for your catastrophic failure to notice the obvious. Your checks and balance system was corrupted and broken, your corporate culture was based on selfishness not safety, and was  most exemplified by Mr Hayward. Then you tell us to trust you, and wait for our GCCF Claims offer, still waiting.

 

 

 

BP Defends GCCF against Moratorium Claims and VOO Claims

BP Claims & GCCF hide behind OPA

The U.S. Oil Pollution Act, which requires companies to compensate people and businesses harmed by an offshore spill, makes clear that liability is “limited to damages directly caused by a covered oil spill and that indirect or derivative losses are not compensable,” BP said in papers filed yesterday in federal court in New Orleans.

BP said it isn’t responsible for damages to boats that participated in its VOO program or for the losses of Gulf Coast businesses idled by the U.S. deep-water drilling moratorium.

VOO gets dealt a blow by BP/GCCF

In March, hundreds of boat owners and contractors who participated in cleaning up the BP spill filed a master complaint seeking compensation for unpaid wages, vessel damage and physical injuries from contact with the spilled oil or chemical dispersants used to break up the oil. BP yesterday asked the federal court in New Orleans overseeing spill suits to dismiss claims by these plaintiffs under the Oil Pollution Act.

We will see how BP handles these claims through the GCCF process, they also went on to tell Louisiana that they needed to go through the GCCF process before they sue BP.

GCCF Uses Delay, Deny, Defend strategy again

If you all remember, and I am trying to emphasize this, the GCCF and BP are using a Delay, Deny, Defend strategy. If the GCCF and BP wanted to pay people they would be. They are following the text book of how to handle situations such as this. The book was written by unscrupulous insurance companies, and is often implemented when companies are trying not to pay, and it works. The GCCF could be more consistent and kind when it comes to paying BP Claims.

The good new is, some of the lawyers we have connected with will take these GCCF claims.

 

Law Firms still Filing Transocean Claims

Transocean Claims

I was informed that Judge Barbier had inferred in court that Law Firms could still file on behalf of claimants against Transocean, and some firms are. There are NO guarantees here. The deadline was April 20th, if you did not file and would still like to, here is your chance, I can`t guarantee it will go through, but there are firms that will give it a shot. So if you fill out the form to the right and put Transocean in the description, we will see to it that your claim gets to them. My thoughts on this are, that Judge Barbier saw that many firms were swamped with requests and is giving them a touch more time to get these in. This is pure conjecture,  but that is the only valid reason I can figure.

Transocean Limitation Complaints

Directly taken from the Plaintiff Steering Committee website:
1) What is a Limitation Complaint?
When a vessel owner, such as Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, forces all people who have claims resulting from an incident to make any claims against it in one proceeding. In that proceeding, the Court is asked to decide whether the vessel owner can limit its liability (or what it is responsible to pay) under the law.The Court may also determine other issues, such as the liability (if any) of the vessel owner, whether the vessel owner is liable for gross negligence or the amount of fault between and among the defendants. Gross negligence involves a reckless disregard for the safety of others.

If you can get into the process you will be covered by the February 2012 trial issues.

Corexit, the BP Oil Spill and Clean Up Workers

My experience with Corexit

From the very beginning of this project I have felt  most drawn to helping BP Oil Spill Clean Up Workers. I was out on Grand Isle in June 2010 and the smell of Corexit filled the air, within hours I was coughing. In my infinite wisdom I picked up a piece of Corexit in my hand, I had it on the tip of my finger when it broke like an egg, and it suddenly covered my hand, seconds later my hand was burning, and when I tried to wipe it off, I only proceeded to spread it up my arm. A nice lady on the boat had baby wipes that removed it, regular towels were useless. The way the Corexit bonded with Oil and coagulated it created something that resembled the texture of the yolk of an egg. but more firm, until it broke then it was a gooey mess.


Clean up Workers & Corexit

Cleanup workers were ill equipped to handle the oil spill from the very beginning, lacking both basic equipment and the knowledge of just what they were dealing with. Corexit poses health risks at the molecular level. Corexit bio-accumulates in one`s body. The lungs, kidneys and liver are most affected, and it does cause cancer.

This is from Wikipedia: Mind you, this is about Corexit 9527 not 9500, less is known about the after effects of 9500 on Humans.

Corexit 9527, considered by the EPA to be an acute health hazard, is stated by its manufacturer to be potentially harmful to red blood cells, the kidneys and the liver, and may irritate eyes and skin. The chemical 2-butoxyethanol, found in Corexit 9527, was identified as having caused lasting health problems in workers involved in the cleanup of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. According to the Alaska Community Action on Toxics, the use of Corexit during the Exxon Valdez oil spill caused people “respiratory, nervous system, liver, kidney and blood disorders”. Like 9527, 9500 can cause hemolosys (rupture of blood cells) and may also cause internal bleeding.

Clean Up Workers Exposed to Corexit Seek Help

We get phone calls daily from people that are sick from the Corexit and worked on clean up crews. If you are sick, please fill out the form to the right and we will get you in touch with  law firms that specializes in Helping people that are truly ill from the Clean Up of the Gulf Oil Spill. There are programs being put in place, and medical monitoring becoming available. There are certain medical tests you can also have done, that will measure the levels of exposure. If you think you are sick or know someone who is, please let us know.

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