Mississippi official seeks court oversight of BP fund [USA]
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood asked the judge overseeing oil-spill litigation against BP P.L.C. to take an oversight role to “correct deficiencies” in the $20 billion spill-claims fund run by Kenneth Feinberg. Mr. Feinberg has been criticized by spill victims' lawyers for his administration of the claims process through which BP has said it would pay “all legitimate claims” filed by people and businesses damaged by the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. Critics contend Mr. Feinberg has delayed or denied claims without adequate explanation and established protocols that encourage cash-strapped claimants to accept small, quick payments to avoid years of litigation...Mr. Feinberg's fund “is nothing more than a surrogate for BP in the administration of the claims process that BP is required to provide” under federal law, Mr. Hood said...Amy Weiss, a spokeswoman for Mr. Feinberg, declined to comment...Last month, lawyers representing spill victims suing BP and other companies involved in the Gulf oil spill accused Mr. Feinberg of “playing a shell game” by failing to disclose his ties to BP and the $850,000 in monthly compensation his firm gets from BP to run the fund.