By Ria Novosti
BP said it had reached the final settlement with the plaintiffs’ committee, agreeing to pay $7.8 billion in total to individuals and businesses affected by the worst oil spill ever in the U.S. history.
The settlement between the London-based oil giant and a group of attorneys known as the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC), representing some 100,000 individuals and businesses, is yet to be approved by the judge.
“The Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) leading the litigation surrounding the 2010 BP Gulf Oil Spill today announced that it has finalized its settlement with BP,” the committee said in a statement. “The Court will, in the near future, rule on whether to grant preliminary approval for the settlement.”
“As in any settlement, neither side will receive everything it wants,” lawyers said.
The cost of settlement will be paid from the $20 billion trust that BP set in the wake of the accident.
The agreement does not cover claims from the U.S. government, coastal states and BP partners.
British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded on April 20, 2010, and sank two days later after burning for 36 hours in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana. The blast claimed the lives of 11 people. An oil spill ensued, damaging Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.
More than 5 million barrels of crude oil were leaked in the Gulf of Mexico, polluting over 1,100 miles of coastline.
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is the largest oil spill in U.S. history, surpassing the 1989 wreck of the Exxon Valdez oil tanker, which released 260,000 barrels of crude oil. It also turned out to be the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history.