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More Details on Feinberg’s Oil Spill Compensation Process

Yesterday afternoon, Kenneth Feinberg, who takes over as independent administrator of BP’s $20 billion oil spill compensation fund, briefed reporters on how the claims process will work.

I wrote a story today on that process, but there were a number of things Feinberg said during the briefing that didn’t fit into the story.

Image has not been found. URL: ../wp-content/uploads/2010/08/TWIProPublica6.jpgRight to sue. Feinberg will require all claimants who accept a final, lump-sum payment (not the interim emergency payments) to waive their right to sue BP, but he has not yet decided whether he will require claimants to also waive their right to sue the other parties involved with the spill, including Transocean and Halliburton.

“That issue has not been resolved. The question of whether or not a final payment will release one defendant, BP, or all defendants has not yet been resolved by me,” Feinberg said. “You hear arguments on both sides. The simple answer is that the issue has not been resolved.”

Compensation for realtors. Feinberg said he has negotiated an agreement with the National Association of Realtors to set aside no more than $60 million to compensate Gulf realtors’ for losses from the spill.

“I do not believe that it will be necessary to set aside that much money,” he said, adding that he plans to finalize the agreement today. The money will be distributed outside of Feinberg’s compensation process by real estate associations in the Gulf.

His own compensation. Feinberg said there is no written contract between him and BP laying out his responsibilities and compensation. Responding to a question from a reporter, Feinberg said, “There is no document. I absolutely agree with the thrust of your questions that my contract and payment terms be made public.” He said he would be releasing in the coming weeks a “fully transparent, open budget” that will outline the how the program will be run, the amount of money required to run the program and how much he is being paid.

**Volume. **He expects a “flood of early emergency claims” now that he has taken over the process and has hired additional staff to handle process the filings.

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](http://www.propublica.org/article/tell-us-about-your-bp-claim)

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