Quick repayment vowed for oil spill victims

  • Sun Jun 20th, 2010 10:24pm
  • News

McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — Victims of the massive Gulf oil spill will be compensated quickly, said Kenneth Feinberg, an independent administrator for a $20 billion fund set up in the wake of the environmental catastrophe.

“I’m going to make sure that every eligible claim is paid and paid quickly,” Feinberg said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

BP established a $20 billion fund under pressure from the Obama administration in the wake of an April 20 explosion, which killed 11 workers, at a well being drilled in the Gulf of Mexico. The drilling rig Deepwater Horizon caught fire and later sank.

Feinberg, President Obama’s appointee to administer compensation to spill victims, said fishermen and others directly affected won’t need lawyers and will receive immediate emergency payments as long as they can prove they have legitimate claims.

Feinberg added that after those payments go out, victims will have an opportunity to meet with his office to work on setting up a program over the following 30 to 45 days that will provide “full compensation.”

He added his office will have to develop a business-interruption plan to determine how much victims will receive as ongoing payments to replace lost earnings.