State Attorney General Buddy Caldwell says he has received concessions from Kenneth Feinberg, administrator of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility entrusted with managing the claims process for victims of the BP oil disaster, that should make the process more streamlined and transparent.
Last week Caldwell sent a letter to Feinberg objecting to GCCF asking claimants to essentially sign away their rights in exchange for a final settlement. Caldwell argued that GCCF “is an independent claims administrator and should be putting as much effort into protecting the rights of the claimants as they do the rights of British Petroleum.” The AG urged Feinberg to ensure a better explanation of the process for claimants and that they be informed of their right to seek legal counsel, and that there needs to be more transparency in the claims process, including allow the state to look over GCCF’s shoulder.
On Tuesday Feinberg responded. In a letter to Caldwell, the administrator said he made changes to the language in the release forms “to narrow the differences and will allow interim claims without the necessity of a release for the entire three year life of the GCCF.”
Caldwell says he is speaking with other Gulf Coast attorneys general to press Feinberg “to agree to restrict the scope of releases when final payments are accepted, to restrict the subrogation rights of BP and to limit deductions from final payments.” Caldwell is also urging claimants to exercise caution during the claims process, to “carefully assess their damages, including future damages, and carefully read any releases and understand their rights before signing any documents in exchange for final settlements,” and to seek private legal counsel.
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NOV 21 Bobby Jindal is headed to Iowa again, the Des Moines Register reports here. The paper outlines what's going on with Bobby's non-campaign for president, and there's a lot of stuff here -- too bad none of it sounds like somebody running Louisiana. Hey, wasn't that the job he wanted?
NOV 21 The end of the term has come for the grand jury investigating a lucrative Medicaid contract and a former state health official's ties to the company that won it, the Advocate reports here, but that doesn't mean the investigation into this stinkiness is over. There are still some things to look into, the lead prosecutor says.
NOV 21 With the passage of two amendments to Louisiana's much-amended constitution (it has been amended almost 200 times now) higher education has an even bigger target on its collective back, columnist Jim Beam opines in this post. Higher ed used to share the spotlight with health care, but that has changed, he says.
NOV 21 Here's a weird one: The Louisiana Cannabis Industry Association has endorsed Bill Cassidy for the U.S. Senate. Apparently, Mary Landrieu said she wouldn't consider support of medical marijuana but Cassidy said he would, WWL reports here.
NOV 21 Solange Knowles, possibly best-known for assaulting her brother-in-law in an elevator while wearing an ugly dress after the Met Ball, got married in the Marigny Opera House this past weekend, the New York Times reports here. Knowles, who has a house in the Faubourg Marigny district and owns a boutique in the Quarter, married Alan Ferguson.
NOV 21 This post on the Fuel Fix blog outlines a $1.4 billion move announced this week by the Apache Corp. that includes the sale of assets in south Louisiana. The company's interests in more than 90,000 acres in south Louisiana are some of the assets being sold, the post reports.
NOV 21 One (possible) positive from Hurricane Katrina is a comprehensive zoning ordinance for New Orleans. Nine years later, we're getting closer to that being finalized, but the current version has some problems. Here's the latest in a series of posts on The Lens in which residents give their views of the draft; this one is more amusing than most.
NOV 21 The new NOLA smoking ordinance is going to harsh your (nicotine) buzz, man. This post on Gambit outlines the high (or low, as the case may be) points: it includes electronic cigarettes and hookahs in its bans; eliminates smoking within 25 feet of any building's public entrance and in any public space - or near any public space - operated by the city.
NOV 20 Politico reports here that Bobby Jindal won't be kept out of the presidential race by anyone else's candidacy. (If he's running, which he's not, 'cause he's not done prayin' on it) So he's not interested in who is running, or what the polls say, or how much money he's got? K.
NOV 20 NOLA Defender's Tiny Daiquiri has a little fun with Bobby Jindal's Meet the Press appearance in this post. Bobby is still prayin' on whether or not he'll run for the job he's been running for over the past three years, Tiny says.
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