"BP Mediator Feinberg Can't Call Himself Independent, Judge Says"

"A federal judge said Kenneth Feinberg, the lawyer paying victims of BP Plc’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill, can’t identify himself as an independent administrator of a $20 billion settlement fund.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans concluded yesterday that Feinberg must fully disclose his ties to BP when communicating with potential claimants. Lawyers for oil-spill victims had questioned Feinberg’s handling of the $20 billion trust fund, known as the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, or GCCF.

“A full disclosure of the relationship between Mr. Feinberg, the GCCF, and BP will at least make transparent that it is BP’s interests” that Feinberg is promoting in his role as head of the fund, the judge said in a 15-page ruling."

Jef Feeley and Allen M. Johnson Jr. report for Bloomberg February 3, 2011.

SEE ALSO:

"BP Royalty Payments in Gulf Spill Face Scrutiny" (Los Angeles Times)

"On Gulf Oil Spill’s Effects, Doing Science With a Deadline" (New York Times)

"Gulf Oil Spill: Judge Orders Protections for People Seeking Damages" (Christian Science Monitor)

Source: Bloomberg, 02/04/2011