The 10,000-member, five-state Vietnamese Asian American Restaurant Association (VAARA) has retained The Buzbee Law Firm to advocate for fairer treatment of BP oil spill claimants.
VAARA President Tony Nguyen said the organization is troubled by mixed signals sent by Kenneth Feinberg, the government-appointed administrator of the $20 billion BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster Victim Compensation Fund. Specifically, VAARA has learned that Mr. Feinberg indicated he may set aside damage compensation for certain groups outside the Fund.
The spill continues to adversely impact VAARA members who depend on increasingly erratic supplies, pricing and public perception of Gulf Coast seafood, Nguyen said. VAARA has members in Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Louisiana.
Nguyen, who also owns the Osaka Restaurant in Slidell, La., said, "Our restaurateur members have been devastated by BP's negligence. Between our members and those businesses and individuals with whom we trade, we connect to approximately half of the seafood business in the United States. We demand a seat at the table with Mr. Feinberg."
Buzbee Law Firm founder Tony Buzbee said, "BP plugged the blown-out well, but the company's destruction of Gulf Coast restaurant businesses continues. The agony of these business owners seems to have been compounded by the claims process. VAARA has raised legitimate concerns about the fairness of that process and some of Mr. Feinberg's statements about his intentions regarding payment of restaurateur and hospitality claims."
Nguyen said, "We are in a fight with BP and the government over the legitimate spill claims of our members. We retained The Buzbee Law Firm because of the firm's past history of representing people affected by BP - from the 2005 Texas City explosion to the recent Deepwater Horizon catastrophe."
About The Buzbee Law Firm
Based in Houston, The Buzbee Law Firm has been recognized as a leading Texas firm. Mr. Buzbee was named a top-five "go-to" lawyer by Texas Monthly magazine. He recently obtained a $100 million verdict against BP on behalf of 10 refinery workers related to an alleged toxic release. The firm also represents 18 of Deepwater Horizon survivors and Texas City residents who allege exposure to recent toxic emissions from BP's refinery there.
September 28, 2010