§ 46-12.7-10. Claims against the fund.
(a) Any person may apply to the fund for compensation for damages and losses suffered as a result of an oil spill under any of the following conditions:
(1) The responsible party or parties cannot be ascertained.
(2) A responsible party is not liable for non-economic damages caused by another.
(3) Federal oil spill funds are not available or will not be available in an adequate period of time. Notwithstanding this paragraph, the director may expend money from the fund for authorized expenditures when a reimbursement procedure is in place to receive reimbursements from federal oil spill funds.
(b) No claim of a person against the fund may be approved or paid during the pendency of an action by the person in court to recover costs, which are the subject of the claim.
(c) Awards from the fund on damage claims may not include any amount the claimant has recovered, on account of the same damage, by way of settlement with the responsible party or the responsible party's representatives or federal oil spill funds or judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction against the responsible party to the extent these amounts are duplicative.
(d) The director shall pay only those claims which are approved pursuant to this section.
(e) A responsible party is not eligible for compensation under this subsection for costs, expenses, or damages related to the specific discharge for which the responsible party is determined responsible.
(f) Damage claims may not include expenditures for the preparation and prosecution of the damage claim, such as legal fees or real estate appraisal fees.
(g) No claims may be submitted for the recovery of damages under this chapter unless the claim is presented within three (3) years after the date on which the injury and its connection with the oil spill in question were reasonably discoverable with the exercise of due care.
(P.L. 1996, ch. 289, § 4; P.L. 2002, ch. 62, § 2.)