Special Reports

BP may cut claims

NEW ORLEANS — BP has decided to reduce payments to tens of thousands of people whose claim files are incomplete, the secretary of Louisiana’s Department of Children and Family Services said.

“This action is irresponsible and in complete contrast to BP’s repeated promise that they will ‘make things right,”’ she wrote in a letter sent Friday to federal oil spill claims administrator Kenneth Feinberg.

It was not immediately clear how severe the payment cuts would be. BP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Nichols said her department discovered the change after reviewing BP’s Thursday claims summary, which showed a significant cut in daily payments.

She said a BP representative estimated more than 40,000 of the 99,508 people who have filed claims may get lower checks. That “will be devastating to individuals surviving financially month-to-month,” she wrote.

“It is rash for BP to make this decision” without checking to see whether the state might be able to provide needed information, she wrote.