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December 27th, 2012

Judge OKs BP Class Action Lawsuit Settlement

Last Friday, a U.S. judge gave the final approval to BP’s settlement  with individuals and businesses who lost money and property as a result of the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that followed the Deepwater Horizon explosion. The settlement addressed only issues of economic and property damage claims and did not separate medical benefits settlements for cleanup workers and others who claim they were made sick as a result of the spill.

According to BP estimates, the company will pay out $7.8 billion in settling more than 100,000 claims in the class action lawsuit. The settlement amount was initially approved in May by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier, but a “fairness hearing” was held in November to weigh objections from about 13,000 claimants who challenged the settlement.

In April 2010, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig caused the BP-owned Macondo well underneath it to spew 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf over 87 day before being capped. Shorelines from Texas to Alabama were marred. Plaintiffs in the class action suit included restaurateurs, hoteliers and oyster men who all lost money as a result of the spill and its effects on the coastal region.

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