Wednesday, June 02, 2010

BP pays out $3 million to Floridians who lost business to spill

From the SPT:

As of Friday, BP had paid out more than $3 million in claims to nearly 4,000 Floridians. BP spokesman Ray Dempsey said the company hasn't turned anyone down so far.

Still, some Floridians say BP has done about as good a job at helping them cope with their financial losses as it has in stopping the oil from flowing.

"On the news, they're talking about how much they're doing for everybody, but they haven't done nothing for us," said Bill McCullers, who owns three commercial fishing boats in Madeira Beach.

Some fishermen say they haven't been able to get anything but a runaround out of BP. Others say they were handed a check for $2,500 or $5,000, but that's not much compared with their expenses.

"That's the expense of going on one fishing trip," said Bob Spaeth, who owns six commercial fishing boats and Madeira Beach Seafood.

Both Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, a Democrat, and Attorney General Bill McCollum, a Republican, have criticized BP's claims process.

"They're up in the Panhandle issuing checks of $1,000 and $2,000, and you've got charter fishing operations that are experiencing losses of $10,000," Sink said.

No government agency is looking over BP's shoulder, either. Under the law, the U.S. Coast Guard is supposed to review how the company sets up its payment of claims but does not see any of the claims that are filed, a Coast Guard spokesman said.

Source here.