BP, Macondo plaintiffs reach settlement

By OGJ editors

BP PLC has reached a settlement worth an estimated $7.8 billion with a group representing plaintiffs in economic loss and medical claims filed after the Apr. 20, 2010, blowout and fire on the Transocean Deepwater Horizon semisubmersible drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

The settlement, subject to final written agreement, is with the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee acting on behalf of individuals and businesses claiming harm from the fatal blowout and consequent oil spill.

“The proposed settlement represents significant progress toward resolving issues from the Deepwater Horizon accident and contributing further to economic and environmental restoration efforts along the Gulf Coast,” said Bob Dudley, BP Group chief executive officer, in a statement.

BP, operator of the deepwater Macondo blowout well, will pay the settlement from the $20 billion trust set up in response to the accident.

The economic-loss part of its settlement estimate includes $2.3 billion to help resolve economic loss claims by the seafood industry.

The proposed agreement to resolve medical claims involves payments based on a matrix for certain currently manifested physical conditions and a 21-year medical consultation program for qualifying plaintiffs. It has provisions for claims for physical problems appearing later.

Under the settlement, covered plaintiffs would release and dismiss their claims against BP.

Before the settlement, BP had made payments related to the Macondo tragedy of more than $8.1 billion to individuals, businesses, and government entities and of about $14 billion for operational responses.

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