Monday, August 10, 2009

Cash your dang check already!

Now here's some irony for you.

Remember all the weeping and wailing from the thousands who claimed injury and injustice from the Exxon Valdez spill of 1989?

Well, it turns out a bunch of the plaintiffs who have received punitive damages payments from Exxon have not bothered to cash their checks yet!

So says the Seattle law firm that's handling the distribution of Exxon money for the plaintiffs.

"The Administrator notes that a substantial number of checks issued by the EQSF (Exxon Qualified Settlement Fund) from 2008 to present remain un-cashed," the firm said in a posting Friday to its information Web site. "The Administrator urges all recipients of such checks to negotiate them, immediately, to avoid having a bank refuse to honor them as stale."

The firm adds that people with uncashed checks are placing any future interest payments from Exxon in jeopardy.

"For claimants who appear on a future application for punitive damages interest, who have failed to cash their check for punitive damages, the Administrator may be required to VOID their previously issued punitive damages check. To avoid such action, claimants should promptly negotiate these previously issued checks."

Guess somebody better head to the bank, huh.


Gscott said...

How many is a bunch? Is there evidence this is more than would be expected? Out of, what, 30,000 claimants it takes a low percentage to add up. I can think of a "bunch" of mundane reasons that could happen-- wrong address, living in the bush where there's no bank, holding a check like a savings account (dumb, but not uncommon), sickness, travel, losing the check, holding it to prevent it being garnished, not having a bank account, or death. Please at least post the facts before you add your interpretation of them.
Besides, the "weeping and wailing" was never about people wanting cash, it was about justice.
Interesting you are now a fisheries reporter. I remember you as the daily news longtime oil industry hack. Maybe you found pay in industry's PR wing?

Anonymous said...

In the thesaurus, a bunch is right next to substantial, which in next to a lot, near to considerable (or not inconsiderable, depending if you like poetry), close to extensive, in the neighborhood of sizeable, on track with ample, but a smidge less than half and definately less than most.

Claiming injury and injustice is by definition a part of seeking justice, maybe even part and parcel if one wanted to go further.

Thanks Wesley for blogging about our fisheries.

Ramona said...

Gscott is right. In June 2008, KTUU reported that 8,000 of the plaintiffs had died waiting for a verdict. Multiple other sources place the number at more than 6,000 (approximately 1/5 of the plaintiffs). I would argue that those numbers are a "substantial" "bunch", and provide a reasonable explanation for uncashed checks. Your sarcasm and histrionics are misplaced and insulting.

Anonymous said...

I would assume its because the fleet has been fishing since the middle of March. Most leave their places of residence for some 6 months at a time. What do you expect?

Anonymous said...

On July 15, the fund administrator's website said "[w]ithin the next two weeks, lead counsel expects to file the first in a series of applications with Judge Holland to distribute punitive damages interest." Today -- over a month later -- no such application has been filed. Instead, the docket seems to be filled with a series of motions, declarations, etc., dealing with the apportionment of attorneys' fees, etc. Is anyone surprised?

Anonymous said...

Your blog post calling out weaping and wailing is truly offensive. Your detachment from the actual impact that the spill had on people's lives truly negates any credibility that you might hope to have among fishermen and Alaskans alike. I feel ashamed of you.

Anonymous said...

its been over a year since the eqsf recieved 500 million dollars from exxon and i still have yet to see a thinks if they pay everyone off a few lawyers and office staff will lose jobs..where do i file a complaint..oh ya i tried the judges office refuses to talk to you..