Independent Gulf oil spill Claims Administrator Ken Feinberg said Tuesday he will consider the payment of claims to hotels or restaurants that say they lost business even if no oil washed ashore near the business.
Hotel and restaurant industry officials said they are having trouble getting claims paid because of the issue of whether they were close enough to the actual spill.
“I have suggested that people file their claims, get their proof, get their claim in shape where I can take a look and let’s see how many restaurants and lodging entities in Florida can demonstrate loss,” Feinberg said at the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) board meeting on Tuesday in Orlando. “I am keeping the lines open.” He said he understood that not considering such claims could result in “hundreds, maybe thousands of large hotels, motels, restaurants in Florida end up filing lawsuits that I don’t think anybody wants.”
Carol Dover, president of the FRLA, said hotels and restaurants need the compensation.
“Whether or not oil from the BP spill washed ashore on Florida beaches, the fact remains that the perception Florida was covered in oil along the coast had a tremendous impact on tourism,” Dover said in a release. “We are incredibly grateful that Ken Feinberg is more open to the proximity issue. This new consideration will allow thousands of hoteliers and restaurateurs recoup much needed economic recovery dollars to make them whole.”
The News Service of Florida