BP and Private Plaintiffs Settle in Gulf Oil Spill Case
BP has reached final agreements with more than 100,000 private plaintiffs to resolve claims for economic, medical and property damages resulting from their infamous 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The oil giant believes the cost of the settlement is to remain $7.8 billion, which will be dispersed from a $20 billion trust fund that was previously set aside.
BP executives state that this settlement lays the framework for the company to continually aid in the economic and environmental restoration of the Gulf Coast. Those affected by the disaster will receive full and just compensation, without having to wait on a long trial process.
According to settlement papers, about 109,000 condominium owners, hotel and resort operators, restaurateurs, shrimpers and others may be eligible to recover on economic and property claims. About 16,000 plaintiffs may recover for medical claims, reports Reuters. Lawyers for the plaintiffs may be awarded as much as $600 million to cover fees and costs. This will be paid out separate from any amounts paid to spill victims, settlement papers show.
The settlements require approval by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans. A hearing to consider primary approval is set for early November. The settlement put a trial over the spill on hold. Barbier has not set a new trial date. The case is In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mexico, on April 20, 2010, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, No. 10-md-02179.
This Friday is the two-year anniversary of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which killed 11 workers and caused the largest U.S. offshore oil spill, after BP's Macondo well ruptured. BP has already taken over a $37 billion charge for the incident. The company still faces claims from the U.S. government; Gulf states; and drilling partners Transocean Ltd, which owned the rig, and Halliburton Co, which provided cementing services, reports Reuters.