BP’s recently proposed $7.8 billion partial settlement for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil-spill claims may have fallen off track thanks to a complaint filed by one victim’s attorney. The attorney said that the settlement should not be approved because last month’s hurricane demonstrated how the extent of the damage done by the spill remains to be seen.
When Hurricane Isaac hit the Gulf, large amounts of old oil and tar washed ashore, showing that the damage by the spill had not been contained even years after the oil stopped gushing. BP points out that it has spent $14 billion on cleanup operations since the spill. The company says that Hurricane Isaac uncovered only limited amounts of oil that buried in isolated stretches of shoreline.
The plaintiff’s attorney sent a letter to the U.S. Magistrate Judge overseeing litigation over the 2010 spill expressing his concerns. In the letter, the victim’s counsel said that BP’s argument that significant future pollution from the spill is unlikely is a “ridiculous proposition.” The letter went on to say that, “The landfall of Hurricane Isaac has changed the settlement landscape.”
BP agreed in March of this year to pay an estimated $7.8 billion to resolve most private plaintiffs’ claims for economic loss, property damage and injuries. While the settlement is large, it does not cover the federal government’s claims against the company or any of the state-specific actions currently pending.
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier gave his preliminary approval to the settlement back in May and set a hearing to make a final decision for November 8th. However, this has not stopped some plaintiffs’ attorneys from filing objections to the settlement agreement, claiming it does not do enough to help their clients. The attorneys’ arguments boil down to the idea that the settlement agreement unfairly places the risk of future damage on the victims of the spill and not on BP. BP has argued that the agreed upon amount is “fair, reasonable and adequate under the law and therefore should be granted final approval by the court.”
If you’ve been impacted by the BP oil spill, IMMEDIATELY contact the Mississippi oil spill lawyers at Kilpatrick & Philley at (601) 856-7800. Currently, we are accepting VoO claims, claims for Commercial Fisherman, claims for Business Lost Income and Personal Lost Income, claims for Clean-Up Workers, claims for Recreational Fisherman, and claims for Owners of Waterfront Property. Call us today to ensure that you are not left behind and we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve!
Source: “BP Spill Victims Claim Gulf Hurricane Undermines Accord,” by Margaret Cronin Fisk, published at Businessweek.com.
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