Tags: US | Gulf | Oil | Spill | Feinberg

Feinberg Sells Compensation Fund to Spill Victims

Monday, 19 Jul 2010 01:45 PM


  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

The administrator of a $20 billion Gulf oil spill compensation fund offered a hard sell Monday, promising fishermen and others with lost income claims from the disaster that he'll be more generous with them than any court would be.

Kenneth Feinberg noted that claimants are free to instead file a lawsuit, but added, "You're crazy to do so, though."

"Because under this program, you will receive, if you're eligible, compensation without having to go to court for years, without the uncertainty of going to court, since I'll be much more generous than any court will be," Feinberg said. "And at the same time, you won't need to pay lawyers and costs."

Feinberg made the comments in a speech to the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., but his target audience included people and businesses who have suffered economic harm in the Gulf Coast area. He sounded like a TV pitchman, reminding them they were under "no obligation" to waive their rights to sue, unless and until they decide to accept a lump sum for all present and future injury.

He noted that claimants could get emergency payments for six months without giving up their right to sue.

"If you decide after that to litigate, you still keep the check. I mean, who wouldn't come into this program?" he asked in an incredulous tone. "It is, to my way of thinking, an easy call."

Feinberg also administered compensation funds for victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Agent Orange and the Virginia Tech massacre. From them, he's learned that the job involves a lot of salesmanship.

"Do not assume that people automatically will opt into these programs," he said. "People are skeptical, angry, dispirited, worried about their financial certainty, their financial future. Human nature being what it is, you have to sell these programs."

Feinberg said his job requires an "emotional perspective" for people, like an oysterman who's been in the family business for six generations. No matter how good a program you come up with, he said, "You've still got to sell them to people who are emotionally distraught."

At a news conference following the speech, he took issue with the suggestion that the fund represented an overreach of federal power.

"The notion that this is somehow a trick, or a power play, or is anything other than a way to resolve a national tragedy is, I think, unfair," Feinberg said. "And I'm determined to administer a program that will be fair, will be transparent, and will benefit the very people it's designed to benefit who live in the Gulf."

Feinberg, who is being paid by BP, declined to provide his salary. "That's something between me and BP," he said.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Retype Email:
Zip Code:
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Oil Boom May Be Just Starting in Permian Basin

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 18:15 PM

Oil production in New Mexico keeps on booming. Don't expect it to go bust anytime soon. In fact, some energy experts say . . .

Chicago's Emanuel Boosting Shelter Space for Child Illegals

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 17:27 PM

Chicago will set up additional shelters for unaccompanied immigrant children to be funded by the federal government and  . . .

US Marshals, Police Wounded, Suspect Dead in NYC Gunfight

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 16:59 PM

Two U.S. Marshals and a New York City police detective were shot and wounded on Monday and a man was killed during an at . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved