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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DEC 4 This post on Philebrity, an arty Philadelphia blog, previews the lecture Bobby Jindal gave last night in the City of Brotherly Love. Sadly, not a lot of love headed Bobby's way in this post, which indicates a level of disdain for our Guv generally limited to residents of our lovely state.
DEC 4 The NOLA Defender blog goes old-school next year, this post tells us. The blog, which features news and extensive arts coverage, will publish free print versions quarterly, the story says. In a business that seems to be heading away from the printed version, it is nice to see that going the other way for a change.
DEC 4 There's another story on state employee abuse of public credit cards in the news, and blogger CB Forgotston has the solution: get rid of them. We don't need them; it's more work without them to accomplish what you need to accomplish, but what's wrong with that, CB wants to know. The legislature needs to pass a law forbidding the things, he says.
DEC 4 Here's one of two recent posts on the Lens about spending at two charter school operations in New Orleans. This one is about training for less than 200 KIPP employees in Vegas -- which cost nearly $120,000. That's $120,000, with six figures. The other operation was the Friends of King schools, which sent the staff, including eight of nine board members, to a retreat at the beach. That cost $70,000. So far, the Lens is the only media covering this. One wonders if that would be the case if this level of spending had happened in a public school operation.
DEC 4 In the effort to lay blame for our disappearing coast, a board charged with protecting our coast voted to sue the US Army Corps of Engineers Tuesday, this story on NOLA.com says. One suit will seek to force the corps to pay for damage caused by the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet project, and the other will seek to force the corps to pay for a levee system in Algiers on the West Bank. Interesting.
DEC 4 Thanks to blogger Robert Mann's Facebook page, we know about this story in the Washington Blade, which says that the Louisiana National Guard has decided to process same-sex partner benefits. The story was posted Tuesday, following an interview with a guard chief by the Blade. That same day, the Advertiser ran this story, which said Louisiana is still a hold-out on same sex benefits. So which story is correct?
DEC 4 One Alabama fan shot another dead, this WWL story tells us, because she didn't feel the other fan was upset enough about Alabama's loss to Auburn. The women were at a party, and the dead lady, mom to three children, was joking with other party-goers about the loss, which didn't sit well with the shooter, the story says. Police think alcohol might have been a factor. Ya think?
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