Oil Spill Claim Centers Add Hours As Monday Deadline Nears

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Offices established to help people file claims under a legal settlement following the 2010 BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill will be open extra hours ahead of a looming deadline.

         Claims administrator Patrick Juneau said assistance centers in Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas will be open until midnight Monday, the deadline for filing claims under the 2012 settlement.

         Three assistance centers — in Clearwater, Florida; Mobile, Alabama; and Metairie, Louisiana — will open Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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         Call centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 8 a.m. to midnight Monday.

         Juneau said he expects a surge in claims as the deadline approaches.

         "As a special master in a number of class action settlements, my experience has shown a spike in claim filings at the deadline," Juneau said in a news release Wednesday.

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         Juneau spokesman Nick Gagliano said in an email that over 328,000 claims have been filed — more than 20,000 of them last month.

         Juneau's office will likely have a preliminary figure on the number of claims filed by the deadline some time Tuesday. That number won't be final for some time, however, because mailed claims will be accepted if they are postmarked June 8.

         For more information

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