Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Kenneth Feinberg, the US Government appointee to run the Gulf Coast Claims facility to pay for BP's pollution damage, is a man caught in the middle and running his own PR campaign. He is trying to get claimants to settle for direct cash disbursements rather than sue BP. Already a state attorney has called him a "corporate shill." He is bound to make no one happy. Those who get money will think it not enough. Attorneys who lose potential lawsuits will be angry. However, what he is doing is likely to get more cash into claimants hands than lawsuits, and it will take a much shorter time. What is best? Both state and private attorneys see a huge payday down the road if they can get to the courtroom. Feinberg, who handled the 9/11 compensation, knows the years litigation can take. Still, he is in a difficult position, and he will need to communicate constantly to persuade claimants to settle rather than sue. It is a difficult PR task and one that perhaps only Feinberg is cut out to do.