New oil spill claims process opens
Beginning today, anyone who suffered BP oil spill–related losses or injuries and hasn't already accepted a final settlement from BP through the former Gulf Coast Claims Facility will be able to apply under a new claims process, The Times-Picayune reports. More information about the terms of the settlement and how to file a claim of economic loss is available here. Details about medical claims can be found here. The new payment system was set up under the terms of a settlement reached this spring to avoid a trial on thousands of health and economic-damage claims by individuals and businesses harmed by the oil spill. The deal, preliminarily approved by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier, was uncapped, meaning there's no limit on how much money is available to pay damages, though BP has estimated the cost at about $7.8 billion. The settlement was not an admission of liability by BP. These new claims facilities represent both a break from and a continuation of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, the entity run by Kenneth Feinberg from August 2010 through the settlement in March. Feinberg's program paid out more than $6 billion of BP money to 225,000 claimants in those 18 months. The new process is open to those who had claims rejected by Feinberg and to those who never previously sought payments. Read the full story here.
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