BP Claims Fund Pays Out $10 Million in First Week Under Feinberg

August 31, 2010

Kenneth Feinberg, who last week took over the claims process for BP Plc’s Macondo well oil spill, has so far paid nearly $10 million in emergency payouts to Gulf Coast residents who have suffered economic harm, documents show.

Feinberg, who promised a speedier and more transparent claims process to frustrated Gulf residents, oversees a $20 billion fund set up by BP in June at the insistence of U.S. President Barack Obama.

His agency, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, is releasing a daily summary of payments.

As of Monday, 1,935 emergency advance claims were paid, mostly to individuals and businesses for lost earnings or profits. The bulk of payments made so far ranged from one cent to $5,000, the organization said.

The agency still has 29,289 claims under review and has rejected only one, according to the data. More than 1,000 people have filed a final claim with the agency. If paid, they will lose their right to sue BP for additional damages, but no final claims have been paid yet.

Residents of Louisiana, the state that took the brunt of the heavy oil from the April 20 spill in the Gulf of Mexico, tops the list in emergency payouts, collecting almost $4 million. Florida is second, with $2.4 million.

Before handing the process over to Feinberg, BP said on August 23 that it had paid $400 million during the 16 weeks it managed the process.

(Reporting by Anna Driver; editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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