Feinberg: I'll Bend Over Backwards for Oil Spill Victims

Kenneth Feinberg
Ken Feinberg met with Gulf Coast residents Tuesday.
PENSACOLA (2010-8-10) -

The man overseeing the $20 billion fund for oil spill victims promises he will “bend over backward” to get their claims paid.

Ken Feinberg addressed a packed room at the University of West Florida Tuesday.

“I will bend over backwards to find eligibility, within reason, in order to maximize the dollars that can be sent to people who have suffered as a result of this spill,” he said.

Co-sponsoring the event, along with the local Chamber of Commerce, was U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.

Nelson said we’re at the “beginning of the end” of the oil crisis, but added that there are still a number of uncertainties.

But it was Ken Feinberg – who handled the claims related to the victims of the 9/11 attacks – that local residents came to see and hear. During his 90 minutes at the podium, Feinberg reminded those with spill-related losses to re-file their claims with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, which he takes over from BP on Aug. 23.

After Feinberg’s prepared remarks, he fielded questions and comments from about a dozen residents who came forward to speak. Leading off was Mike Pinzone, who has the contract to operate the Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier. He says the most vital job post-spill is re-growing tourism.

Charter boat owner Captain Wes Rozier said his claim should be based on what money he is losing now – not on what he made last year.

As Florida and the other four Gulf Coast states move into the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon spill, Feinberg concedes that the process will be complex.

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