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Six Months After Oil Spill, Attention Shifts to Compensating Spill Victims

On the six-month anniversary of the BP oil spill, both The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal have stories detailing the many problems with compensating Gulf oil spill victims for their losses.

The Journal cites “rampant confusion and frustration about the payment decisions and timing of BP’s Gulf Coast Claims Facility,” and the Post says some in the Gulf misunderstand the claims process.

According to the Post:

But on a truly normal evening, Acy Cooper Jr. would be out shrimping. Instead, one recent night, he was staying home, as he has done more often these days.

“Why? It don’t pay me to do that when they’re going to pay my claim anyway,” said Cooper, vice president of the state’s shrimpers association.

Feinberg, not surprisingly, says shrimpers and others in the Gulf won’t be paid for days they can work, but choose not to. But the example shows that confusion about the claims process still exists in the region even though the GCCF has been up and running since late August.

After six months, Feinberg’s claims process is emerging as the next big bone of contention in the Gulf. While Feinberg has made strides to process claims more quickly, some people have still had to wait more than a month for their claims to be reviewed, as I reported yesterday.

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