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Judge: Feinberg Not Independent Of BP

From an incensed Associated Press:

Judge finds Ken Feinberg not independent of BP

By Tom Hals – Wed Feb 2, 2011

WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) – The administrator of BP Plc’s $20 billion fund to compensate victims of the Gulf oil spill is not independent and the oil company must refrain from calling him "neutral," a federal judge ruled on Wednesday.

Which is kind of a laugh. Doesn’t anyone really think Mr. Feinberg is independent of the administration? The man was Obama’s ‘Compensation Czar.’ And he is now called Obama’s ‘Oil Fund Czar.’

Judge Carl Barbier also ruled that BP must disclose in all communications that the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) and its administrator, Kenneth Feinberg, are acting on behalf of BP in fulfilling its legal obligations under the Oil Pollution Act.

"While BP may have delegated to Mr. Feinberg and the GCCF independence in the evaluation and payment of individual claims, many other facts support a finding that the GCCF and Mr. Feinberg are not completely ‘neutral’ or independent from BP," said the New Orleans federal judge in his 15-page ruling.

Notice that we are not told who appointed Judge Barbier to the federal bench. Or what his political affiliations are.

It should then probably go without saying that he was appointed by President Clinton. He is also a very generous contributor to the Democrat Party and its candidates.

So we may be forgiven if we wonder about his ‘independence.’

BP said the claims facility will "immediately implement those provisions of the order which are not already part of the GCCF’s procedures."

If only the White House were so heedful of judicial rulings.

So far, about 87,000 have accepted a settlement of their claims. Each one of those settlements comes with an agreement not to sue, potentially chipping away at the number of lawsuits.

Barbier ruled that BP must tell claimants they have the right to consult an attorney and explain they have the right to join the hundreds of pending lawsuits if they do not accept a final settlement.

The judge also said the court may take action to cure miscommunication, and an attorney representing spill claimants said that could lead to those 87,000 settlements being re-examined.

"It’s not a can of worms. It’s a 55-gallon drum of worms," said Kevin Dean of the Motley Rice law firm in South Carolina. He said his firm would immediately begin contacting clients who had accepted settlements with Feinberg’s fund to "tell them of their rights."

It would seem that this judge has decided that anyone who has already settled with BP can still change their minds and sue them anyway. Even though they have already agreed not to sue BP, as part of their settlement.

Apparently, ‘contracts’ (settlements) means nothing to this judge.

The ruling comes just hours after Feinberg unveiled his proposals for final settlements of claims caused by the spill, the largest in U.S. history.

What a coincidence. Clearly this activist Democrat judge wants to drag this out for years and ultimately destroy BP. Probably as a warning to any oil company that is foolish enough to do business within the US.

Meanwhile, he calls Feinberg a puppet.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, February 3rd, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

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