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$7.8 Billion Settlement Approved In BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Class Action Lawsuit


This is a settlement for the BP Oil Spill lawsuit.

New Orleans, LA: A $7.8 billion settlement against BP PLC has been approved by a federal judge, resolving economic and medical claims brought by more than 100,000 businesses and individuals who suffered from the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April, 2010.

According to the terms of the settlement, approved by US District Judge Carl Barbier, there is no cap on the financial compensation – so the amount could be more or less than the estimated $7.8 billion, with the exception of $2.3 billion put aside to cover seafood-related claims by commercial fishing vessel owners, captains and deckhands.

The explosion of BP's Macondo well that resulted in the worst oil spill in the history of the US, killed 11 rig workers and released over 200 million gallons of oil, closing much of the Gulf for months to commercial and recreational fishing and shrimping. While much litigation remains, this agreement provides for people and businesses in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and some coastal counties in eastern Texas and western Florida, and in adjacent Gulf waters and bays.

According to a report in the Kansas City Star Judge Barbier said the settlement averts worries that litigation could continue for 15 to 20 years, as it did after the Exxon Valdez and Amoco Cadiz oil spills, creating a secondary disaster for those affected. The Star also notes that no ruling has been made on a medical settlement for cleanup workers and others who say exposure to oil or dispersants made them sick.

Still unresolved are environmental damage claims brought by the federal government and Gulf Coast states against BP and its partners on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, and claims against Switzerland-based rig owner Transocean Ltd., and Houston-based cement contractor Halliburton.

A trial is scheduled for next year, to identify the causes of BP's blowout and assign percentages of fault to the companies involved.

Judge Barbier wrote that lawyers' fees will not be taken from the settlements: BP has agreed to pay them separately.

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Published on Dec-24-12


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