On the eve of trial, British Petroleum (BP) reached a proposed settlement with the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Plaintiff’s Steering Committee. The estimated $7.8 billion settlement is intended to resolve most of the economic and medical claims that resulted from the 2010 oil spill disaster. The settlement will be paid out of the $20 billion trust fund established immediately following the explosion, fire, and subsequent sinking of the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico. Approximately $2.3 billion in settlement funds will be used to fulfill economic claims from individuals associated with the seafood industry.

According to BP, the company has spent roughly $22 billion on the oil spill. Government entities, businesses and individuals reportedly received approximately $8.1 billion from the company. BP’s operational response to the disaster is said to have cost the company at least $14 billion. BP also claims it has paid about $6.1 billion for more than 220,000 individual claims through the Gulf Coast Claims Facility.

The settlement agreement does not address United States federal agency, state, or local government claims against BP. Funds remaining in the trust fund will also be used to compensate state and local governments as well as pay for natural resource damages, judgments, and other settlements. Any remaining liabilities will purportedly be paid directly by BP.

In addition to the medical and economic damages settlement, BP will also assign the company’s claims against Transocean and Halliburton to the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee. Additionally, the proposed settlement may be terminated by either BP or the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee if the parties cannot execute a written agreement within 45 days. Any written agreement would also require approval from the New Orleans federal court before which the multi-district litigation is pending. Potential claimants would be provided with an opportunity to opt out of the class.

If an oil spill like this occurred in the Pacific Northwest, it would have a dramatic impact on the area as thousands of coastal residents could potentially experience medical and economic injuries. In 1989, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, and British Columbia entered into a Memorandum of Cooperation following two devastating oil spills in the area. In 2001, the Memorandum was revised to include the State of Hawaii. The Memorandum set up a task force to implement regional initiatives designed to prevent and prepare for another hazardous oil spill.

Injuries that take place at sea are subject to a different body of law than those occurring on land. If you were injured offshore, contact the law firm of Anderson, Connell & Carey. Our Seattle maritime injury lawyers have more than 25 years of experience helping individuals achieve fair compensation for their maritime injury claims. With offices conveniently located in Bellingham, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon, our knowledgeable attorneys are nearby to answer your questions and assist you with your maritime personal injury claim. To speak with a skilled maritime law attorney, call Anderson, Connell & Carey today at 1-800-262-8529 or contact us through our website.

More Blogs:

Injured Alaskan Crewman Defeats Owner’s Limited Liability Claim-In the Matter of the Complaint of Leo, LLC et al. v. Flora, Washington Maritime Injury Lawyer Blog, February 27, 2012

Carnival Cruise Stock Plummets in Wake of Italian Tragedy, Washington Maritime Injury Lawyer Blog, January 17, 2012

Additional Resources:

BP announces settlement with PSC, subject to final written agreement, to resolve economic loss and medical claims from Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill, BP Press Release dated March 3, 2012

Initial BP settlement agreement comes into focus: Estimated $7.8 billion to be paid out, by Kyle Barnett,Louisiana Record