BP Fund to Settle Thousands of Gulf Damage Claims

HOUSTON -- The administrator of the BP escrow fund will settle more than 2,000 claims of damage from last year's oil spill with individual payments from $10,000 to $30 million, according to a report by the Washington Post.

As of Thursday, the $20-billion Gulf Coast Claims Facility established by BP had paid 168,634 claims for a total of $3.4 billion, the newspaper reported. More than 400,000 individuals and 87,412 businesses have asked to be compensated for economic damages resulting from the spill, though a large number of them have been dismissed as having no merit.

Fund administrator Kenneth Feinberg has been trying to convince people that they would be better off taking payments from the $20-billion Gulf Coast Claims Facility, which was established by BP last year, than if they filed a lawsuit that could take years to resolve, according to the report. Feinberg has been paying not only for damages sustained last year but also for those that might be sustained in the future. For example, Feinberg has been paying oystermen for losses last year but is also providing identical sums through 2012 because an oyster crop takes three years to grow, the newspaper reported.


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