BCA Oil Spill Client Update
As noted in last month’s newsletter, Mr. Coon spent Thursday of last week in New York City meeting with the Feinberg Rozen team at their law offices. The meetings were very beneficial in hearing firsthand the current state of the GCCF and its ability to efficiently process claims.
While the GCCF has made it clear that they want to resolve any and all legitimate claims, the fund is almost hopelessly bogged down in accounting review of hundreds of thousands of claims. They have shed the fund of several hundred thousand cases, but those have been almost exclusively quick pays and other small settlements. We have been fighting the particulars on interim business and individual submissions for months now and the delays are painful and sometimes fruitless. However, it is our belief that GCCF or BP representatives will make every effort to settle all claims before they ever get to trial.
For these and many other reasons, we will begin pushing almost all of our claims to final demands. This will put the ball squarely in the court of GCCF. The Oil Pollution Act statutes require the responsible party (BP) make an offer on such demands. It’s our belief that this will force the GCCF to prioritize those claims for review.
The shift to final demands will require consent from each client. We have already received Negotiation Authorized Amount letters from hundreds of clients, but if you have not sent one in, expect to receive a letter asking you to place a specific amount that you would agree to as final settlement of your claim. In many instances, BCA will attempt to negotiate higher settlement offers than the figure you submitted, but having a baseline to use as a minimum acceptable offer is vital to our negotiations with the Feinberg Rozen team. If the fund is unable or unwilling to meet demands on any individual claims, we will file a lawsuit against BP and other responsible parties on behalf of those individual clients and begin the process of recovering a settlement through the litigation system. However, once the litigation process has started, we can continue to negotiate with the GCCF.
Additional information is continuously posted on our client website, www.bcaoilspillclients.com. We invite you to visit the website frequently to view important documents, recent news articles and send messages to your attorney.