Kenneth Feinberg head of the GCCF has a crummy job. As head of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF), he is in charge of deciding who gets what in the messy British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The Gatekeeper at GCCF
He is the gatekeeper to the $20 billion fund BP run by the GCCF and set up after the spill to make things right with those who suffered damage, including shrimpers, hoteliers, restaurant owners, mayors, and even attorneys general. Those who are denied or who do not get as much as they deserve learn to hate Kenneth Feinberg.They do complain about the GCCF and Mr Feinberg often.
GCCF Are Not Paying People Enough
Most complain about the GCCF is people not getting paid, or not getting paid enough. The GCCF process lacks transparency. Claims have been made that Feinberg and the GCCF has “over-promised and under-delivered.” He has even been likened to the Grinch That Stole Christmas recently in a statement by two fishermen and their lawyer. The most critical and loudest group of detractors is the plaintiffs’ attorneys, however. If their potential clients file claims with the GCCF and are approved, then they are barred from suing BP and the GCCF in the upcoming federal multidistrict litigation soon to be played out in a federal court in New Orleans. If those suits never come to fruition, then there will be no fees for those attorneys. To add insult to injury, the GCCF is now providing free “pro bono” legal representation to those who need help navigating the GCCF final claims process. That means even fewer fees for the attorneys.
GCCF Are Bad Mouthing Local Attorney’s
Local Gulf Coast attorneys also are beginning to complain that Mr.Feinberg and the GCCF is “bad-mouthing them throughout the Gulf.” They allege that the GCCF is telling potential clients of theirs that they will have to wait years and even decades to have even a hope of winning in a court battle. Feinberg and the GCCF also claim that the amounts that they will be handing out will be far more than any amount they might win in court.
Although these claims about the GCCF might be truer, the lawyers who stand to lose millions in potential fees have now filed a claim in federal court. The filing and memorandum in support were filed in Judge Carl Barbier’s courtroom in the Fifth District Federal Courthouse in New Orleans. They want Judge Barbier to intervene and make sure Feinberg and the GCCF are not misleading the victims of the BP spill. They also claim that his $850,000 a month salary—no that is not a typo—makes him less unbiased as he claims to be, and that he has told many simply not to hire attorneys. This might be seen as a restraint of trade case, but so far, Judge Barbier isn’t saying anything or giving any clues as to how he might rule on the GCCF. For now the GCCF are the man and all people can do that are unhappy is to contact an attorney.