Over the past year, the Southern Shrimp Alliance has maintained an open dialogue with Ken Feinberg and others within the GCCF. SSA’s communications with the GCCF have been on behalf of the shrimp industry as a whole, with a focus on ensuring that all in the industry who have been impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are compensated fairly and equitably for any harm they have suffered and for any risk of future harm that they face.
More recently, SSA has sought to ensure that shrimpers’ claims are not only treated fairly and equitably, but also processed by the GCCF expediently. In recent communications with SSA, the GCCF has indicated a willingness to work with the organization to provide status updates regarding particular claims of concern. In initial communications with GCCF administrators, inquiries made by SSA have resulted in prompt review of claims and offers of settlement amounts for the respective claimants or, alternatively, clear communication to those claimants about what information is needed by the GCCF in order to process their claims.
As early returns indicate that these communications have helped to facilitate responses from the GCCF, SSA members are invited to contact staff if they are concerned about having not received a response to a claim submitted to the GCCF. If you are not represented by an attorney for claims related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the GCCF compensation process and have concerns about the pace of the process, you may contact SSA at (727) 934-5090. If you are represented by counsel with respect to such claims, we ask that you not contact us directly, but note that your representative is welcome to contact SSA staff for assistance. In either event, we will ask GCCF administrators to review such claims in an effort to speed up the process.
SSA’s ability to assist in GCCF matters is limited. While the organization has argued for changes to the GCCF’s compensation approach that would benefit the industry broadly, SSA cannot provide advice or recommendations regarding whether it is appropriate for an individual or a business to accept a settlement offer or seek alternative relief. Nevertheless, SSA believes that the prompt processing of shrimp industry members’ claims is imperative so that individuals and businesses can, at a minimum, meaningfully evaluate their options.