US District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans gave final approval to BP PLC’s settlement in a class action lawsuit with a number of businesses and individuals regarding the April 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico from the deepwater Macondo well off Louisiana.
BP estimates it will pay $7.8 billion to resolve economic and medical claims from more than 100,000 businesses and individuals although the settlement has no cap. BP could wind up paying more or less than that amount (OGJ Online, Mar. 6, 2012).
Barbier released a final 125-page ruling late Dec. 21 after giving his preliminary approval earlier in the year. He noted that he found none of the objections filed “have shown the settlement to be anything other than fair, reasonable, and adequate.”
BP responded that it considers the settlements to be in the best interests of many.
“We believe the settlement, which avoids years of lengthy litigation, is good for the people, businesses and communities of the gulf and is in the best interests of BP’s stakeholders,” a BP spokesman said.
BP operated the Macondo well. A blowout triggered a fire and explosion that killed 11 workers on Transocean Ltd.’s Deepwater Horizon semisubmersible drilling rig and resulted in a massive oil spill.
Barbier noted much litigation remains pending, including environmental damages with the US government under the Clean Water Act.