It seems like people are rushing through their final claims paperwork for damages from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. British Petroleum’s Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) says they have been denying final claims left and right because of a glut of new filings coming in with no proof of damages or without proper documentation of otherwise legitimate claims. Over 20,000 people were denied by the end of November.
GCCF Denied Claims Up Sharply
By contrast, only 125 were denied in September. Many others are only getting tiny percentages of what they claimed as damages, although there are reports of many receiving full payments against their claims.
The GCCF says they are taking it all in stride though. Kenneth Feinberg, the head of the GCCF, denies that his office is in utter chaos. He says that even though the GCCF has been inundated with claims they feel are fraudulent—which means that the GCCF in turn has to spend countless hours investigating them—they are able to handle the problem. Those claims that the GCCF finds fraudulent are then sent on to the United States Department of Justice for possible prosecution. This all takes hours of additional effort and wastes valuable resources that could be better spent elsewhere, though Feinberg insists everything is going as planned.
GCCF Denies claims because of late filings.
To his point, Feinberg did point out that, “[a] true emergency claim one would have expected would have come in shortly after August 23rd [when the he and the GCCF took over the claims process].” After months of lost revenue and damages from the oil spill, you would definitely think that people would have been in a rush to get their claims filed and would have taken the time necessary to ensure that their claims would be approved. However, Feinberg notes that over 66% of the so-called “emergency claims” did not start appearing until after October 1st, and many of those claims came in lacking supporting documentation and/or proper paperwork.