A US federal judge has approved a USD 7.8 billion settlement which sees the BP oil giant pay out USD 7.8 billion in compensation to people and businesses affected by the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
US District Judge Carl Barbier gave his final verdict on Friday. The ruling covers nearly 100,000 people and businesses, who were affected by the massive oil spill after an explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig two years ago.
“This settlement has and will continue to bring the people and businesses of the Gulf the relief they deserve,” a statement by the plaintiffs’ attorneys read.
The settlement covers people and businesses in the coastal states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama as well as some counties in eastern Texas and western Florida.
The cleanup workers and others, who received medical treatment after being exposed to oil and dispersants, were not ruled on.
In addition, the settlement does not include the predicted tens of billions of dollars in fines and claims from the US government, the affected coastal states and local governments nor those seeking compensation for the drilling moratorium enforced after the catastrophe.
BP stated after the ruling that “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.”
The explosion took place on April 20, 2010 and after 89 days and 4.9 million barrels (206 million gallons) of oil was spewed into the Gulf of Mexico, a cap was put on the well, however, it is not known if oil is still spilling out from the site.
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