07/12/2010 12:32 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

BP Cuts Claim Payments To 40,000 People With Incomplete Files

(AP) BP has decided to reduce payments to tens of thousands of people whose claim files are incomplete, the secretary of Louisiana's Department of Children and Family Services said.

"This action is irresponsible and in complete contrast to BP's repeated promise that they will 'make things right,'" the secretary, Kristy Nichols, wrote in a letter sent Friday to federal oil spill claims administrator Kenneth Feinberg.

It was not immediately clear how severe the payment cuts would be. BP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Nichols said her department discovered the change after reviewing BP's Thursday claims summary, which showed a significant cut in daily payments.

She said a BP representative estimated more than 40,000 of the 99,508 people who have filed claims may get lower checks. That "will be devastating to individuals surviving financially month-to-month," she wrote.