43 CFR 29.9 - Claims, settlement and adjudication.
(1) Claims in accordance with this section may be submitted by any damaged party, his or her duly authorized agent, or his or her successor in interest.
(2) Claims submitted in accordance with this section must contain the following information:
(i) A detailed statement of the circumstances, if known, by which the claimed loss occurred.
(ii) A detailed listing of damages incurred, categorized according to the type of damage involved (§ 29.1(e)), and including a monetary claim for each type of damage listed.
(iii) Documentation of all monetary claims asserted.
(b) The contact person must provide copies of all claims filed with the vessel Owner or Operator to the Fund Administrator upon request of the Administrator. Once such claims are paid, the contact person shall notify the Fund and upon request of the Administrator supply any adjuster's reports.
(c) Prior to reaching $14 million in claims filed, the contact person shall notify the Fund whether the vessel Owner or Operator will assume responsibility to pay damages over the $14 million level.
(1) In the event the vessel Owner or Operator refuses to pay claims over the $14 million level, the Fund shall determine if the $14 million in claims already filed meet the definition of damage as established by this section. The Fund shall pay the claims, or portion of claims, over $14 million, which have been determined to meet that definition.
(2) The Fund shall establish uniform procedures and standards for the appraisal and settlement of claims against the Fund, including but not limited to procedures for appraising claims made to the vessel Owner or Operator to determine when $14 million of claims meeting the definition of damages has been reached; procedures to determine whether claims over the $14 million level which it receives meet the definition of damages; and procedures for determining when the services of a private insurance and claims adjuster shall be used.
(e) In the event the vessel Owner or Operator refuses payment of any claims up to $14 million, the injured parties have recourse to the district court for the Federal district in which the spill occurred or the appropriate State court for the State in which the spill occurred. The Fund only becomes liable after $14 million in claims meeting the definition of damages have been paid or have been acknowledged as payable by the vessel Owner or Operator.
(f) The Fund may settle or compromise any claim presented to it.
(g) No claim may be presented, nor any action be commenced, for damages recoverable under this part unless that claim is presented to or that action is commenced against the vessel Owner or Operator, or their guarantor, or against the Fund, as to their respective liabilities, within two years from the date of discovery of the damages caused by an incident, or of the date of the incident causing the damages, whichever is earlier.
(1) The Board of Trustees, by a majority vote, shall decide to allow or deny claims or settlements presented to the Fund in accordance with this section. In its discretion the Board may delegate the authority to settle classes of claims to the Administrator.
(i) Where a claim is presented to the Fund by or on behalf of any person having a close business, personal or governmental association with any member of the Board of Trustees, such as to create a conflict of interest or the appearance of such conflict of interest on the part of such member of the Board of Trustees, the member involved shall excuse himself or herself from any consideration of such claim.
(ii) Where a claim presented to the Fund has previously been presented to the Owner or Operator and such Owner or Operator has a close business, personal or governmental association with any member of the Board of Trustees, such as to create a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest on the part of such member of the Board of Trustees, the member involved shall excuse himself or herself from any consideration of such claim.
(i) Any claimant aggrieved by the Fund's decision on a claim under this section may appeal the decision in the appropriate Federal district court.