Attorney Kenneth Feinberg met with a crowd of 500 Gulf Coast residents in Bay St. Louis, Miss., this week, and told the gathering that final payments for individual and business losses caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill would begin in about a month. That is when the methodology for calculating those payments is expected to be completed, he explained.
As reported by Anita Lee, writing for SunHerald.com, the man in charge of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) told the crowd that information is being compiled from university researchers, government scientists, seafood associations and others about the spill’s long-term impact on the region.
Feinberg said the latest reports on the Gulf Coast’s recovery are “cautiously optimistic,” noting that fishing, oystering, and shrimping are much better, and tourism is improving.
During the town hall-style meeting, Feinberg coped with some hostility from the crowd with one woman shouting profanities and another person yelling “liar!” as Feinberg tried to offer assurances of fairness.
Feinberg told Mississippi casino workers that he would make sure their claims would be reconsidered. The GCCF had previously denied these claims, stating that the industry was not dependent on the Gulf’s natural resources.
“All I’m saying is, we’re not holding back,” Feinberg told one woman in shrimp boots who said her claim had been denied. “I’m trying to get the money out the door to eligible claimants,” he said.
Photo: Eliot Kamenitz, The Times-Picayune Archive