Why Florida Will Get Shafted Out Of BP Compensation Money
Attorney Steve Yerrid was a special council for Gov. Lawton Chiles and got a settlement from tobacco companies. Yerrid was appointed by Governor Charlie Crist to get a legal settlement from BP. Getting that settlement would involve filing a lawsuit. Yerrid's term ended Dec. 31, 2010. Yerrid sent three letters to Gov. Rick Scott. Yerrid never received a response.
"I received zero response," the Tampa attorney said. "Not a thank you, not a note telling me where to put the materials."
Scott announced receiving $30 million grant from BP. Yerrid says that Florida could get $1 billion from a lawsuit.
Attorney General Pam Bondi has counciled Gov. Rick Scott not to sue BP. Bondi claims that BP will not pay if Florida if litigation is fired against the oil company. How Bondi thinks BP will pay for environmental or tourism damage without legal pressure is beside the point. The truth is Bondi has no desire to sue BP. Bondi has gotten on the same page as Gov. Rick Scott.
"My goal is to try to work with BP and make sure we don't end up in litigation," Scott told the media.
Ken Feinberg is the administrator of the BP Deep Horizon Disaster Victim Compensation Fund. Feinberg was appointed by President Barack Obama. If anyone doubt that Obama and Feinberg aren't putting BP ahead of victims is kidding themselves. Feinberg refused to disclose the fee paid to him by BP. U.S District Judge Carl Barbier ruled that can not tell oil spill victims that he operates independent of BP. Feinberg's law firm is being paid $850,000 a month by BP.
Barbier said: "The court finds that BP has created a hybrid entity, rather than one that is fully independent of BP."
Barbier ruled that Feinberg must disclose all communications with BP. That is quite different than the Feinberg that Obama passed off to the American people.
Obama said as Feinberg took the job: "I'm confident he will assure that claims are administered as quickly, as fairly and as transparently as possible."
The biggest complaint about Feinberg is that claims have neither been fair or quick.
Feinberg has avoided testifying to the Florida legislature. Sen. Gary Siplin hinted that the Feinberg may be subpoenaed. Feinberg has no problems making meetings with Scott and Bondi.
Scott and Bondi wants us to believe litigation is not needed. We are to believe that Feinberg will compensate Floridians out of the kindest of his corporate heart. Florida has a better chance of seeing high speed rail than $1 billion from BP.