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BP reaches settlements with Deepwater Horizon disaster plaintiffs

Oilfield Technology,

BP has announced that it has finally reached “definitive and fully documented agreements with the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) to resolve the substantial majority of eligible private economic loss and medical claims” brought about by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The compensation to be paid out at this stage comes to  of US$ 7.8 billion.


"Full and fair compensation"

Bob Dudley, BP’s chief executive said, “BP made a commitment to help economic and environmental restoration efforts in the Gulf Coast, and this settlement provides the framework for us to continue delivering on that promise, offering those affected full and fair compensation, without waiting for the outcome of a lengthy trail process.”

The settlement has yet to be approved by a New Orleans Judge.

The company has reportedly asked for any further disaster related disputes to be delayed. If BP wins the right to a delay, it could see court action for the remaining plaintiffs postponed until at least 2013.

The plaintiffs numbered more than 100 000, which makes the settlement one of the largest class-action deals in American legal history. No cap has been placed on the claims and it is as yet uncertain what the eventual total payout will be. In addition to the settlements, the plaintiffs’ lawyers are seeking US$ 600 million to cover costs and fees. 

Not over yet...

Despite agreeing to pay US$ 7.8 billion, the case is far from over as BP faces actions brought by the US government, US States with borders on the GoM and BP's drilling partners Transocean. The penalty for just violating the US government’s Clean Water Act could reach US$ 17.6 billion, in addition to the US$ 37.2 billion penalty already invoked by the government.

From the US$ 7.8 billion settlements agreed so far, approximately US$ 2.3 billion will be awarded to fishermen and others effected by the damage to marine life. US$ 57 million will also be set aside for the promotion of tourism and the seafood industry in the Gulf Coast region.



Edited from various source by David Bizley

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