Casino Gambling

BP lawyers say new rules for casino worker claims should be ready Friday

A Mississippi law firm hired to help with BP claims told Coast lawmakers today that final rules for casino workers making claims should be finalized Friday.

“This leads me to believe the process is finally evolving,” said state Rep. Diane Peranich, D-DeLisle. “This is light years ahead of where we were 30 days ago ... Now the job is to make sure the employees apply.”

Lawmakers, who had been frustrated with constituent complaints, appeared mostly pleased with answers and information they got from officials with Watkins Ludlam Winter and Stennis, a Jackson-based law firm recently hired by BP Claims Administrator Kenneth Feinberg. State Sen. David Baria helped arrange the meeting between the Coast legislative delegation and law firm officials at the Capitol on Tuesday.

Coast lawmakers had complained in a letter to Feinberg that changes to the claims process had been made after a too-short period for people to make comments and suggestions, and that Feinberg appeared to be relying on one scientist’s opinion that the Gulf would be fully recovered by next year. Lawmakers expressed concerns about Gulf oyster reefs that appear to be dead, reports of oil or dispersant still below the water and recent deaths of young dolphins.

“Some marine biologists are calling

Read more about this story in Wednesday's Sun Herald.