In a letter dated July 21, Florida CFO Alex Sink called on BP’s Independent Claims Facility Administrator, Kenneth Feinberg, to “clarify his position on whether individuals or business owners will be required to waive their legal right to additional compensation in order to receive payment of their claims.”
In a press release detailing the letter, Sink said that those living and working along Florida’s Gulf Coast have uncertain futures and that final claims “should not be conditioned on the waiver of the claimant’s rights under state or federal law.”
The full text of Sink’s letter, after the jump:
July 21, 2010
Kenneth R. Feinberg
Feinberg Rozen, LLP
The Willard Office Building
1455 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20004-1008
Dear Mr. Feinberg
Thank you for taking the time to brief me and my staff in our telephone conference this week on your plans to implement the Gulf Coast Claims Facility in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss this critical matter with you, and I look forward to meeting with you in person on July 28 in Destin, Florida. I am writing to request that you clarify your position as to whether individuals or business owners will be required to execute a waiver in order to receive payment of their claims. With millions of gallons of oil discharged in the Gulf of Mexico, the people who live and work along the Gulf Coast cannot know with any certainty today what the full extent of their damages may be in the future. In order to ensure that the claims process is fair, the payment of any Floridian’s claim, including a final claim, should not be conditioned on the waiver of the claimant’s rights under state or federal law.
As you know, many individual Floridians and Florida small businesses have sustained significant economic damages as a result of this catastrophe. I have called on the Florida Legislature to work immediately this summer to provide broader economic relief under Florida law to those affected by the oil spill. I understand that you will look to Florida law for guidance in resolving Floridians’ claims, and I appreciate your willingness to consider any new laws enacted by the Florida Legislature this summer as you strive to make whole all Floridians affected by this disaster.
Thank you for your consideration of these issues. I look forward to meeting you next week.
cc: The Honorable Charlie Crist
The Honorable Bill McCollum