Gov., AG ask judge to intervene in claims process

By The Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s governor and attorney general say victims of the Gulf oil spill seeking final payments from a $20 billion compensation fund shouldn’t be forced to give up their rights to sue companies to blame for the spill.

Gov. Bobby Jindal and Attorney General Buddy Caldwell asked a federal judge Tuesday to prohibit that requirement, calling it unfair and a violation of the law. Mississippi also has objected, as have lawyers for people already suing BP.

Jindal and Caldwell also asked U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier to monitor communications between Ken Feinberg, who is overseeing the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, and people seeking money from the fund.

The fund was set up in August to compensate residents, business owners and fishermen who can prove they suffered financial losses from BP PLC’s April oil well blowout. More than 481,000 claims have been filed.