Kenneth Feinberg, administrator of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF), has once again offended the masses. In response to public pressure to more quickly and effective settle the claims made by those affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and oil spill, the GCCF came up with a “quick pay” option whereby anyone filing a simple claim against BP could get a lump sum settlement within a matter of days.
GCCF Quick Pay Option takes Victims right away to sue
The only catch was that you have to 1) give up any future claims against the $20 billion fund set up by BP in the aftermath of the accident, and 2) give up your right to ever sue BP or the GCCF for any other future claims related to the Deepwater Horizon incident.
Many have taken this “easy out” solution. Many simply could no longer wait for the tedious process of filing a final claim and assembling all the necessary supporting paperwork and proof needed. Others did not have any way to come up with the paperwork required by the GCCF.
Most are upset about how it is being handled, however. Those affected by the Deepwater Horizon incident are increasingly angry that they are being essentially forced into accepting an incomplete and lowball settlement by backing them into a financial corner from which the only escape is to take the quick pay settlement and all of its consequences.
Victims should be able to sue for Punitive Damages
Requests have repeatedly been made for the GCCF to drop the requirement that all future rights and claims be given up in exchange for a relatively paltry sum of money. Attorneys representing the victims of the oil spill say that while people accepting a quick settlement offer from BP and the GCCF should be required to relinquish their right to sue for compensatory damages in the future, they should absolutely not be required to sign away their rights to sue for punitive damages, as well as other parties that have been deemed responsible for what is now being termed the worst environmental disaster in American history.