Judge approves BP class action suit settlement
24 December 2012
A US federal judge has approved British energy giant, BP's settlement with businesses and people affected by the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
District judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans delivered a 125-page ruling Friday night on a class-action suit, approving an agreement to which he had given preliminary approval in May and overruled questions and criticism of the agreement in his Friday ruling.
"None of the objections, whether filed on the objections docket or elsewhere, have shown the settlement to be anything other than fair, reasonable, and adequate," the ruling said. "The low numbers of objections and opt-outs are evidence of the settlement's fairness."
According to BP's estimates it would pay around $7.8 billion from a $20 billion trust. The number of claims made by individuals and businesses in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, some coastal counties in eastern Texas and western Florida and adjacent Gulf waters and bays ran into thousands.
Commercial fishermen, seafood boat captains and crew, seafood vessel owners and oyster leaseholders would get $2.3 billion from BP under the settlement.
The ruling said, the money represented "approximately five times the annual average industry gross revenue for 2007 to 2009 of the seafood industry in the region covered by the settlement agreement." Further it "represents 19.2 times lost industry revenue in 2010," the ruling said.