Oil Spill Lawyers Want Feinberg to Change Pitch

Wednesday, 22 Dec 2010 03:50 PM

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Lawyers representing people affected by the Gulf Coast oil spill want the disaster’s compensation czar to stop telling their clients to not sue, The New York Times reports. This week lawyers asked a federal judge to force Kenneth Feinberg, who administers British Petroleum’s $20 billion settlement fund, to inform oil-spill victims that lawsuits are a legitimate option.

They also asked that Feinberg, who was picked by the federal government for the job, be more even-handed in his public comments about the value of going to court versus accepting a settlement. Feinberg recently said in a newspaper interview, “Why litigate? ... If I won’t pay you, I urge, no one will pay you.”

The lawyers complained in their filing that Feinberg is biased toward BP, which is paying his law firm to administer the compensation fund. Feinberg has said he is not advocating for BP or for the federal government, and better that BP pay his legal bills than taxpayers.

The BP fund has so far paid $2.5 billion to nearly 170,000 individuals and businesses.

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