BP Oil Spill: Letter Requests Secretary Napolitano to Take Action
Gulf Coast Claims Facility and Litigation Are Not the Only
Avenues of Compensation Open to BP Oil Spill Victims
By Brian J. Donovan
October 29, 2010
Contrary to what BP, and the recently released documentary film titled Crude Justice, would like the American public to believe, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility and litigation are not the only avenues of compensation open to BP oil spill victims. A financially viable Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund is a third option.
On October 18, 2010, The Donovan Law Group sent a letter to the Honorable Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, asking the Secretary to immediately request the Attorney General, pursuant to 33 U.S.C. 2715, to commence an action against BP on behalf of the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (the "Fund") to recover any compensation paid by the Fund to any claimant pursuant to OPA.
The full text of the letter follows.
October 18, 2010
VIA CERTIFIED MAIL
RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED
The Honorable Janet Napolitano
Office of the Secretary
Department of Homeland Security
245 Murray Lane, SW
Washington, DC 20528
Re: BP Oil Spill and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA)
Subrogation Rights for Payments Made for Damages, 33 U.S.C. 2715
Dear Secretary Napolitano:
I am writing in regard to the above-referenced matter.
During town hall meetings organized to promote the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF), Kenneth Feinberg repeatedly tells victims of the BP oil spill, "the litigation route in court will mean uncertainty, years of delay and a big cut for the lawyers." "I am determined to come up with a system that will be more generous, more beneficial, than if you go and file a lawsuit." "It is not in your interest to tie up you and the courts in years of uncertain protracted litigation when there is an alternative that has been created," Feinberg says. He adds, "I take the position, if I don't find you eligible, no court will find you eligible." Mr. Feinberg intentionally fails to mention that litigation is not the only alternative to GCCF.
The intent of Congress when it enacted OPA was "to eliminate, to the extent possible, the need for an injured person to seek recourse through the litigation process." As explained below, I believe the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (the "Fund"), and not costly and protracted litigation, will ensure injured persons are fully compensated for damages which they suffered resulting from the oil spill caused by the blowout of the BP offshore oil well on April 20, 2010.