Contact: Jennifer Fuson
202-965-3500, ext. 8369
AAJ Statement on Gulf Coast Claims Facility
Washington, DC— The following is a statement from American Association for Justice President Gibson Vance regarding today's release of protocols for the emergency payments from the BP / Gulf Coast Claims Facility:
“As we stated when this fund was first conceived, AAJ is firmly behind efforts to quickly and fairly compensate Gulf Coasters for their losses due to the spill. The voluntary claims process may provide adequate and immediate relief to certain claimants through this emergency payment process.”
"However, the protocols still leave questions to be answered about the future and final claim protocols. For example, it would be detrimental to claimants if they are forced to accept final payments before the full impact of the spill is realized.
“Additionally, the final protocols may require waiving future rights to hold corporations other than BP accountable, even if they bear responsibility for this disaster. As we look forward to the final protocols, we hope this is not the case. Victims of the oil disaster deserve their full rights under the current law.
“We will be monitoring the claims facility as it moves forward, as the civil justice system will be essential in ensuring residents and businesses can receive justice and hold BP and other corporations accountable. Despite the urgency of the economic situation, haste cannot be to the detriment of justice.”
To see AAJ’s release on Principles for Claim Fund go to: http://www.justice.org/cps/rde/xchg/justice/hs.xsl/12572.htm.