OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. — The administrator of a $20 billion fund doling out money to Gulf of Mexico oil spill victims said yesterday that people who want more cash can now get a quick check within two weeks, but there’s a catch: Cashing it means giving up the right to sue
Lawyer Kenneth Feinberg, who took over the claims process from BP in August, said individual claimants who already received some compensation from the fund can get a $5,000 check, but they can’t sue BP and won’t be eligible for a final settlement. Businesses could seek a $25,000 check. The payments would be issued within two weeks.
The other options are to seek quarterly interim payments for losses until August 2013, or file for a lump sum final settlement. Getting the lump sum means giving up the right to sue BP over its April 20 oil well blowout that spewed more than 170 million gallons of crude into the sea.
Some who haven’t decided whether to accept the final payment or to sue BP can opt for the interim payments in the meantime.
By tomorrow, Feinberg said, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility will have paid about $2.5 billion to roughly 170,000 claimants, but many have been complaining the process is taking too long or they are being shortchanged.