Feinberg: Gulf victims' release form won't change

HARRY R. WEBER - Associated Press
January 11, 2011
BP oil spill fund administrator Kenneth Feinberg addresses claimants at a town hall meeting in Houma, La., Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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BP oil spill fund administrator Kenneth Feinberg addresses claimants at a town hall meeting in Houma, La., Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011.

The administrator of the $20 billion Gulf oil spill victims' fund isn't yielding to pressure to change a release form that requires those accepting a final compensation payment to give up their right to sue.

Washington attorney Ken Feinberg told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the form stands. He spoke to AP after a town hall meeting in Louisiana with spill victims. Lead plaintiffs lawyers for people and businesses suing over the Gulf disaster want a federal judge to intervene on the issue.

The lawyers say people should only have to give up the right to sue oil company BP for compensatory damages if they accept a final fund payment. But the attorneys say those people should still be allowed to sue BP for punitive damages and other parties deemed responsible.