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91,000 Gulf oil spill claims, just 1 final payment

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The fund's administrator, Washington lawyer Feinberg has faced repeated criticism from lawmakers, plaintiffs attorneys and claimants who complain about a lack of transparency and independence from BP, as well as claims being shortchanged and paid too slowly, or not at all.

Brian Skoloff, Associated Press/Google

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File - In this Jan. 10, 2011 file photo, attorney Kenneth Feinberg, the administrator in charge of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, BP's compensation fund for Gulf oil spill victims, speaks during a town hall meeting in Bay St. Louis, Miss. The fund has issued a final settlement payment to just one of the thousands of people and businesses waiting for checks, records show, and that $10 million payout went to a company after BP intervened on its behalf. (AP Photo - The Sun Herald, Amanda McCoy, File)

BP's compensation fund for Gulf oil spill victims has issued a final settlement payment to just one of the thousands of people and businesses waiting for checks, records show, and that $10 million payout went to a company after the oil giant intervened on its behalf.
BP won't identify the business, citing confidentiality, but acknowledges it lobbied for the settlement. The amount far exceeds smaller stopgap payments that some individuals and businesses have received while they wait for their own final settlements.

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The Gulf Coast Claims Facility was set up in August to independently administer BP's $20 billion compensation fund in the aftermath of its April 20 oil well blowout off Louisiana.

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As of this weekend (Jan 29-30), roughly 91,000 people and businesses had filed for final settlements, but the fund's administrator, Washington lawyer Kenneth Feinberg, has said those checks won't start rolling out until February at the earliest. Thousands of people have received some money to tide them over until a final settlement amount is offered, but only one business listed as paid on the facility's website has so far received a check.

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