BP calls settlement terms too high

Oil company points to signs of recovery in the Gulf

BP has complained that Kenneth R. Feinberg, the man appointed to oversee the fund to compensate victims of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, is overstating the cost of future damages and is being too generous with his estimates of final settlements to claimants. BP concluded that there is “no credible support for adopting an artificially high future loss factor based purely on the inherent degree of uncertainty in predicting the future and on the mere possibility that future harm might occur.” The rules laid out by Feinberg in determining final settlements paid out by the fund state that damages would be double the 2010 losses for most claims, minus any money previously paid out by the fund. BP, on the other hand, places the cost of likely damage at just 25-50 percent of 2010 losses, saying that all fishing grounds have been reopened and the tourist sector is recovering steadily. Thus far, the recovery fund has given out over $3.5-billion in emergency funds, with about 100,000 people filing for a final settlement. 90,000 claimants have opted for a quick-pay process that hands out $5,000 to individuals and $25,000 to small businesses. While Feinberg was appointed by BP to oversee the settlements process, this public disagreement has bolstered Feinberg’s credibility as an independent overseer.

New York Times

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