BP announced on Wednesday, April 18, that they have reached a class-action settlement with lawyers who represent businesses and individuals who made claims after the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The announcement came two days before the two year anniversary of the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster where 11 oil rig workers lost their lives.
A federal judge has to approve the settlement, but BP officials estimate that they will be paying out about $7.8 billion in compensation. Roughly $2.3 billion of that will go to the seafood industry. The money will come from the $20 billion trust fund set up to help revive the area.
"This settlement demonstrates BP's continued progress in resolving significant issues related to the Deepwater Horizon accident," said BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley. "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 trial process."
"The people and businesses of the Gulf Coast stand to reap great benefits from these settlements," said plaintiffs counsels, James P. Roy and Stephen J. Herman. "We have held BP fully accountable for the Deepwater Horizon tragedy less than two years after the spill. Through extensive arms-length, good-faith negotiations, hundreds of thousands of Gulf Coast residents and businesses will be made whole."
BP has asked a court to delay a liability trial until it decides whether to grant final approval to the agreements.