NEW ORLEANS — The new administrator for damage claims from gulf oil spill victims said yesterday that it was his idea, not BP’s, to require that anyone who receives a final settlement from the $20 billion compensation fund give up the right to sue the oil company.
But Ken Feinberg told reporters that he has not decided whether the no-sue requirement will extend to other companies that may be responsible for the worst offshore oil spill in US history.
He insisted that payouts from the claims facility he will run will be more generous than those from any court.
Feinberg also ran the government compensation fund created after the 9/11 attacks, which had a similar no-sue provision.
“It is not in your interest to tie up you and the courts in years of uncertain protracted litigation when there is an alternative that has been created,’’ Feinberg said.
He added, “I take the position, if I don’t find you eligible, no court will find you eligible.’’
Any individual or business that receives a short-term emergency payment — one to six months — from the oil spill claims facility that launches today will still be able to sue
Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed by spill victims.