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4 Jan 2012

Rebecca Mowbray, Times-Picayune [USA]

Kenneth Feinberg freezes payments from BP oil spill fund [USA]

The Gulf Coast Claims Facility has halted all payments for oil spill damage in the wake of a ruling by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier...that 6 percent of all settlements reached after Nov. 7 be set aside to finance the work of plaintiff attorneys in the oil spill litigation in New Orleans. The move means that thousands of people and businesses waiting to be compensated outside of court for harm they endured when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank in April 2010 will have to wait longer for their money. Payments to about 9,000 people and businesses who have received final determination letters from the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, but have yet to sign the award, are now in play...Freezing payments also escalates a battle between the committee of plaintiff attorneys pressing the case in the trial scheduled to start Feb. 27, and other plaintiff attorneys outside the case, BP, Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, and several local parishes, all of whom oppose earmarking money to pay for the plaintiff committee's fact-finding before any determinations of liability are made at trial.

Part of the following timelines

USA: Gulf Coast Claims Facility freezes payments after court ruling that percentage of all settlements be set aside to pay for work of plaintiffs' lawyers in oil spill litigation

US Deepwater Horizon explosion & oil spill lawsuits