BP Reaches $7.8B Settlement in Gulf Oil Spill

Deal does not include biggest plaintiff of all: US government

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 3, 2012 5:46 AM CST

(Newser) – BP has agreed to pay about $7.8 billion to thousands of individuals and businesses around the Gulf of Mexico in economic and medical compensation for the massive 2010 oil spill, reports the Washington Post. About $2.3 billion will go to compensation to the seafood industry alone. BP also agreed to pay for medical consultations for people with health-related claims for the next 21 years, along with $105 million for improving health care around the region. A trial scheduled to begin Monday has been adjourned for now.

The deal, however, does not include the federal or state governments, whose claims are much larger. Earlier estimates have BP facing up to $51 billion in fines and compensation for the spill. So far, the company says it has already paid more than $22 billion—$14 billion in clean-up costs and $8.1 billion in compensation. The $7.8 billion is only an estimate, and lawyers for the plaintiffs said BP had agreed to pay all legitimate claims. “The settlement is to be fully funded by BP, with no cap on the amount BP will pay,” said a representative for the plaintiffs.

In this April 21, 2010, file photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, fire boat response crews spray water on the blazing remnants of BP's Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig.
In this April 21, 2010, file photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, fire boat response crews spray water on the blazing remnants of BP's Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig.   (AP Photo/US Coast Guard, File)
In a June 12, 2010, file photo, crude oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill washes ashore in Orange Beach, Ala.
In a June 12, 2010, file photo, crude oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill washes ashore in Orange Beach, Ala.   (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File)
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