BP, Justice Department: No need for court supervision of oil spill claims process

The filings come amid criticism of the GCCF, which is administered by Kenneth Feinberg, a Washington lawyer who previously headed up the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. Gulf Coast lawmakers and public officials have alleged that Feinberg’s payment methodology does not adequately take into account the extent to which the region’s economy was hobbled by the spill and consequently will provide unfair compensation to spill victims.

After a two-week comment period in which 1,400 people gave their thoughts on a draft payment methodology, Feinberg on Friday released his final payment methodology for the last stage of the compensation process. The basic payment formula remains the same. Under the methodology, most claimants will receive twice their 2010 losses, while oyster harvesters will receive four times their 2010 losses.

The GCCF has paid out nearly $3.5 billion in emergency payments to victims of the spill. Using the new methodology, Feinberg will issue final payments. If claimants accept a final payment, they must sign a release agreeing not to sue BP or any other companies responsible for the spill.