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BP Uses Public Comment Process to Criticize Its Lawyer Overseeing Gulf Payouts

Posted Feb 17, 2011 9:59 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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BP isn’t happy with the settlements being offered by Kenneth Feinberg, the lawyer it hired to oversee its $20 billion compensation fund for Gulf oil victims. But it’s indicating its disapproval in a public comment process rather than a private directive.

Some critics have argued Feinberg’s proposed settlements are too low, but BP has the opposite opinion, the New York Times reports. In a document that will be posted today with the compensation fund, the company asserts that Feinberg is overstating the potential for future expected losses. BP’s objections will be posted along with other public comments solicited before final payouts begin.

BP argues that tourism is recovering and most of the closed fishing grounds have reopened, indicating that future damages are less than Feinberg’s estimates. The document “respectfully requests” Feinberg to change his methodology, but it doesn’t order him to do so, the Times says.

Previous coverage:

ABA Journal: “Master of Disasters: Is Ken Feinberg Changing the Course of Mass Tort Resolution?”

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