Deepwater Horizon Claim Center and the Claims Administrator steal a page out of Kenneth Fienberg’s playbook: Delay, Defend and Deny
The claim processing history repeats itself, lets make outrageous promises to secure control of the fund then turn on the people you're selected to help:
"This settlement, if approved, will compensate hundreds of thousands of victims."
"Unlike GCCF we now have an objective standard set in concrete."
"This process will be clear and transparent."
Evidence now supports that from the beginning the claim center set aside claims that would eventually be impacted by new polices. Construction, Professional Services and Agriculture amazingly submitted at the beginning of the claim process never saw daylight. Now subjected to new sub-classes under policy 495 with new methods and requirements that will reduce or eliminate the claim value.
As illustrated by this chart claim payments spiked in Nov 2012 just as we hit the deadline to Opt-Out. In Oct 2013 the injunction by the 5th Circuit Court put a stop to all BEL claim payments. The 5th CC gave Patrick Juneau limited instructions to tailor CASH Basis P&L’s so using the captured data from the claims submitted he developed Policy 495. This policy far exceeded the instruction and has had a greater impact on all BEL claims calculations and payments.
That being said now lets address the bigger picture and implications of this policy 495.
Law and accounting firms spent tens of millions calculating claimant’s losses prior to the deadline to evaluate if the claimant should or should not stay in the settlement strictly using the clients P&L’s numbers. The adoption of Policy 495 materially changed this thought process.
Not only do we need to support the numbers we now need to satisfy an audit of each month at a level that is not kept in the normal course of business. Their records and records keeping were never designed to be maintained to the level of detail, on a monthly basis, which is now being required. Nor can their historical records be remediated in any meaningful or cost effective manner to satisfy this newfound demand for minutiae.
Naturally if the language of 495 were in the original settlement no one would stay in. Accounting firms processing claims still find it hard to understand or calculate someone’s losses as it goes far beyond standard accounting “GAP” principles.
The true impact of policy 495
495 has triggered new highs in Incomplete and Causation Denials as of May 30, 2015 these two categories combined equal 22,792 just in the BEL class.
495 has destroyed millions of dollars in work product used to verify proper determinations and offers.
495 has destroyed work product used to evaluate if the client should have stayed in the settlement by passing the causation models.
495 has destroyed work product used to defend proper offers in appeals.
495 has delayed, added and destroyed millions in accounting expenses incurred by law and accounting firms proceeding claims.
495 has disenfranchised law firms and claimants from filing claims due to the cost to processing a claim only to be denied for causation or a lack of ability to satisfy the new document request.
And the BIG ONE...495 now forces us to rely on the court vendor’s.