Gulf Oil Spill Settlement Underway

Gulf oil spill settlement reached; BP expected to pay out $7.8 billion

BP and the private plaintiffs in the massive Gulf oil spill litigation have reached a settlement that BP estimates will cost $7.8 billion. But that is an uncapped amount, an the court still must supervise the payment of damages. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier also issued an order delaying the trial for a second time in light of the settlement.

BP's multibillion dollar settlement with those who suffered medical or economic damages in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill still leaves the company facing environmental claims for which state and federal governments will demand billions more. Analysts said the settlement announced late Friday is a significant step. BP estimated the cost of the settlement at $7.8 billion, but it contains no cap on damages and so could be higher or lower, depending upon how many plaintiffs accept it and how much they're paid.

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