Monday, August 23, 2010

BP (NYSE:BP) Compensation Fund Launches Today, Feinberg Ready

The new compensation or escrow fund, now officially named the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, has launched today, and parameters are in place for claimants to make a decision on whether to accept or decline what is offered them.

Fund administrator Kenneth Feinberg said, "These guidelines are the result of many town hall meetings throughout the Gulf, listening to the people affected by this disaster."

The only ones really making any significant noise about the fund going forward are trial lawyers who see their 30 percent of the money going to the claimants instead of them.

President of the American Association for Justice, Gibson Vance said on Friday, " would be detrimental to claimants if they are forced to accept final payments before the full impact of the spill is realized."

In reality, they would come out ahead. Take away the 30 percent the lawyers would get, and why would claimants extend things out to make BP pay the utmost (assuming that even happens) when they can get their payment now when they need it.

The only people it would really be detrimental to would be the lawyers who have had their greedy eyes lowered because the majority of businesses and people will realize it makes little sense to wait longer to get a higher payment that will only benefit the lawyers and not them.

There could possibly be a few cases which that would be different, but it would have to be unique for it to overcome the 30 percent fee the lawyers will enjoy.

Feinberg has already said he's going to be generous with the fund, and probably will be, so there's very little incentive for victims of the oil spill to wait for a bigger pay day that in the vast majority of cases will never come, and if it does, will make the wallets of the lawyers fatter, not theirs.

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