BP reaches settlement on Gulf oil spill

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A billion-dollar settlement was reached last week between BP and attorneys on the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee in the litigation surrounding the 2010 Gulf oil spill.

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion killed 11 workers and triggered the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history. According to the U.S. government, about 4.1 million barrels of oil were spilled.

“This settlement will provide needed monies to many individuals and businesses in the Gulf Coast who have suffered so greatly,” Scott Summy, who serves on the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, said in a statement.

The agreement is expected to pay an estimated $8 billion to resolve economic, property and medical claims by more than 100,000 Gulf-area businesses and individuals. Such a payout would make this one of the largest class-action settlements in U.S. history.

There is no cap on the total amount that can be paid.

According to the settlement, $2.3 billion was earmarked for commercial fishermen, seafood boat captains and others. Another $57 million will be set aside to promote the Gulf Coast in the hopes of bolstering tourism and the seafood industry.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier, who is overseeing the litigation, is scheduled to consider preliminary approval of the settlement in November.

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