On Friday, March 2, 2012, the Plaintiffs Steering Committee was able to negotiate a settlement of claims with BP prior to the much anticipated trial set to begin on March 5, 2012. Two separate settlements were negotiated, which will provide much needed relief to plaintiffs who suffered economic losses, as well those with medical claims. The settlements will be administered by the District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, and seek to fairly compensate individuals affected by the April 20, 2010 disaster. The settlement does not have a cap, which means all claims will be assessed fairly for their own value, as opposed to getting a portion of a settlement pool. BP, as required by United Kingdom regulations, has estimated the cost of the settlement at $7.8 billion.
The settlements include claims that were not previously paid by the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, the organization set up by BP to administer the $20 billion claims fund set up in 2010. These include claims for loss of use and enjoyment of water front property and medical claims. One key aspect of the economic loss settlement is that it recognizes a “one size fits all” approach will not work, and has set forth provisions which seek to fairly compensate the victims of this disaster. The medical claims settlement not only compensates for injuries, but also sets forth a medical consultation program, which provides that the injured are seen by healthcare professionals for the next 21 years. The settlement will also fund an outreach program, which will promote physical, mental, and behavioral health in areas affected by the oil spill.
If you feel you were impacted by the BP Oil Spill and you wish to learn more about your legal rights and the settlement process, you should consider contacting an attorney. Thornhill Law Firm, A PLC has experience with large class action settlements, and for information on how we can help, please contact our office at (985) 641-5010 or by using the Contact Us form on our website.