British Petroleum has reached an estimated $7.8 billion deal with plaintiffs suing over the massive 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the company said on Friday, March 2, but the oil giant still faces claims by the U.S. government, Gulf states and drilling partners, Reuters reported.
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier, who is overseeing the litigation, said in a court order that the proposed terms of the class settlement would be submitted to court for approval.
He also adjourned the first phase of the trial over the spill, which had been scheduled to begin on March 5. He had previously delayed the start of the trial to allow a group called the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) to negotiate a settlement with BP.
The committee represents fisherman and businesses who say their livelihoods were damaged by the April 20, 2010, explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and subsequent spill from the Macondo well.
Lawyers for the committee, Stephen Herman and James Roy, said the settlement would compensate hundreds of thousands of victims. “It does the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people,” they said.
BP said the cost of the proposed settlement would be around $7.8 billion, including a commitment of $2.3 billion to help resolve loss claims related to the Gulf seafood industry.
It said the proposed settlement was not an admission of liability and that BP would assign to the PSC some of its claims against Transocean and Halliburton.